Reigning BSB champion Shane Byrne will start Sunday's third round of the 2009 World Superbike Championship from twelfth on the grid, after a nasty looking accident signalled an early end to his Superpole hopes.
The Sterilgarda Ducati rider had moved steadily forwards from his 19th place in Friday qualifying, sitting twelfth in the free practice session before Superpole. Shakey then turned heads by being second fastest in Superpole 1, but a tumble during the following stage of the knockout system brought and end to his top eight hopes.
"Today almost everything went smoothly, we've improved a lot and when I set my fastest time I was almost sure I could lower it by a further second,” said the Englishman. “Unfortunately, while I was exiting a slow corner, I accelerated a bit too early and I crashed without hurting myself. However, I'm confident for tomorrow's races as the boys have done a wonderful job and I have a good feeling on the bike now".
"It's a real pity!” added team manager Marco Borciani. The crash put an end to our Superpole strategy. We were really hoping to get in the third session and qualify on the front row. Nonetheless, I'm still confident we can get in the leading pack and hope for a good result.
“Shakey is really doing a fantastic job and I have to congratulate him. He was competitive despite an ugly infection in his left knee that hurts him a lot when he moves,” Borciani revealed. “Unfortunately this temporary handicap might be decisive on a track with so many left-hand corners. He is in treatment now and should be fully recovered by the next round".