Byrne off the mark in Qatar

Shane Byrne says he is pleased with his second World Superbike weekend at Sterilgarda Ducati, despite a problem in the second race that prevented him from mounting a podium challenge.

Having failed to score on his debut with the team in Australia, Byrne was in a buoyant mood ahead of the races after qualifying in eighth position, but would ultimate endure mixed fortunes around the Losail circuit.

Race one proved to be a significant confidence boost for Byrne, the reigning British Superbike champion enjoying a fierce battle with Carlos Checa, one that the Spaniard would eventually win to keep Byrne in sixth.

With points now on the board, Byrne was keen to go even better in race two, but while a strong start saw him up to fourth by the first corner, an issue with the tyre spinning on the rim prevented him from progressing any further.

Losing ground in the final laps especially, Byrne was frustrated with the outcome of his race, but was at least satisfied to have finished as the top privateer on each occasion.

''It was certainly a more satisfactory race than the previous one. I had a great race one battling with Checa, but after a disappointing first round it was very important for me to finish the race. The sixth place is a good result, but I could've done better in race two, especially after that great start that took me on fourth position.

“Nevertheless, I knew from the start that something wasn't going the way it should, as the back tyre was spinning on the circle. I had to kind of give up a little and try to get as much as possible.

“Unfortunately, in the last few corners I was passed, I lost a lot of positions and finished twelfth. However, the team have done a great job and fighting for the podium in the next rounds is possible in spite of how hard-fought the competition is.”

After such a tough start to the season, team manager Marco Borciani thinks Byrne would have been capable of challenging for a podium in race two were it not for their continued bad luck.

''It was a good but at the same time bitter-sweet race despite Byrne putting on a great performance. I'm not sure if we would've finished on the podium in race one but I would've loved Shakey to fight till the end.

“Unfortunately, we were unlucky once again. However, we finished first among the private teams. It was one small satisfaction which doesn't change our objective at all that of being always in the leading pack as in today's race one.”

Related Pictures

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Byrne, Qatar WSBK Race 2 2009
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