Shane Byrne arrives at the MCE British Superbike season finale with a shot at the title for a sixth consecutive campaign and as he looks to seal a fifth crown he outlines how quickly championship battles can change.
The Be Wiser Ducati rider heads into the three-race final round at Brands Hatch with a 17-point cushion over rival Leon Haslam and underlining his words from Assen Byrne has no initial plans on managing the points gap to inch towards a fifth BSB title.
Since 2011 Byrne has been in the BSB title picture on each occasion entering the last round of the Showdown and in that time has sealed two titles (2012 and 2014) while seeing his championship charge fall short on the three other occasions.
Using those recent experiences and remembering how titles both swung towards and away from him, Byrne is typically targeting the top step of the rostrum while keeping the bigger picture in his thoughts.
“I think it is very important to treat this final round like any other of the season,” Byrne said. “We need to keep focusing on doing the best job we can with whatever the weekend brings.
“You can't second guess what will happen in this championship because anything can happen as it is so competitive and the final round always means some riders put more on the line to end the season. They don't care about the outcome of the championship so we need to be ready for that.
“I have been in this situation of fighting for the title at the final round probably five or six times now and the reality for Leon is that he needs to win races and he needs to beat me in all three. I have to counter how he approaches the weekend too but the way I am going to do that is to go for all three wins as I would at any other round.”
A theme throughout 2016 has seen Byrne battling Haslam on track for wins and podiums, while no rider outside the two title contenders has stood on the top of the podium since race two at Thruxton in July, and the Kent rider is fully prepared to take on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki for race wins at Brands Hatch.
“I am not turning up to finish second,” he said. “We want to get to the front and stay there and if it comes to a straight fight between myself and Leon, I will go for that win.
“Yes, I have an advantage in the points now, but I am going to Brands Hatch to win one, two or even three races as I don't like finishing second.”