Fresh from five back to back race victories in the 2003 British Superbike Championship, MonsterMob Ducati ace Shane Byrne is hoping to continue his dominance as the series heads north to Knockhill in Scotland for round five this weekend.

The 26 year old Kent rider has stamped his authority on the championship with six wins out of the eight races to date and with a brace of second places also for good measure 'Shakey' holds a 55 point advantage over nearest rival Michael Rutter [Ducati] going into the tight and twisty Fife circuit where he won last year.

Doubles at Thruxton and Oulton Park have given Byrne a commanding lead and if he could repeat the victories in the last two rounds, he would match the only other rider in the championship's recent history - Niall Mackenzie - who achieved the feat of a 'triple double' back in 1997, ironically taking victories at Thruxton and Oulton Park also, before winning twice at Mallory on his way to the title.

Whilst confident, Byrne is keen to play down the hype and expectations. "I'm not bothered about history or records; I just want things to keep moving along as they have been for the past few races and it's important we keep focussed on the task in hand which is winning races," said Byrne, "Everything is working so well at the moment, I'm really enjoying things and despite some people saying I'm not good enough to win this title or that I'm having it all too easy, I aim to continue where I left off at Oulton."

For team-mate Stuart Easton, racing on home soil has not been kind to him in the past and the 18 year old Hawick rider will be hoping for better luck this year as he bids to defend his Supersport crown.

Second in the series standings and with just one victory to his name so far this year, the 'Rat Boy' is planning on scooping victory at his local circuit board his 748cc MonsterMob Ducati.

"We handicapped ourselves at Oulton with a poor qualifying session and you can't give this class of riders two rows head start," said Easton, "Points are all well and good but I need to be winning again and I can't think of anywhere better than Knockhill where a lot of my friends and family will be at."

Team owner Paul Bird will be making the short trip across the Scottish border from his Cumbria home and naturally wants his team to give a good account of themselves.

"It's always a bit of a lottery at Knockhill because the track is so short and the weather always seems to play a part," noted Bird, "The main aim is to maintain our championship positions and if the wins come along then that would be a bonus."

Picture courtesy of Double Red.



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