As the British Superbike Championship enters the second half of the season, MonsterMob Ducati ace Shane 'Shakey' Byrne is hoping to continue his first half dominance starting with this weekend's action at Rockingham Motor Speedway in Northants.

The 26-year-old rider shrugged off a body-battering practice crash to claim a win and a second place in the previous round at Brands Hatch two weeks ago to extend his lead at the top of the standings to a massive 133 points but is anxious to return to winning ways at 'The Rock' after his eight straight race victory sequence came to an end in the second leg at Brands after a narrow defeat by the Suzuki of John Reynolds.

"I could have settled for safe points at Brands being injured but I'm a racer and nothing suppresses the pain more that the adrenaline rush that winning provides. I know I only need to follow riders home now but that's not me, I'm going out to win as always and I would really like to get another double there. My injuries are 90 per cent healed and I'm feeling good," said Shakey who still is feeling some of the after-effects of that high speed smash which caused severe bruising to both feet and his spine.

With nine wins and three second places to his credit out of the twelve races to date, Byrne is comfortably in command of the Superbike series but his team-mate Stuart Easton has only one win to his name in the Supersport class this season, an issue he hopes to readdress at the American-style oval.

The young Scot has endured some bad luck in his title defence but still lies second in the standings although he knows that nothing less than a win aboard the team's 748 this weekend will suffice.

"I reckon I've had my share of bad luck and the plan this weekend is to clear off. I need to start closing the points gap on Karl Harris in front of me and the only way I can do that is to beat him," said the 18-year-old.

However, team boss Paul Bird is hoping his Rockingham jinx won't strike for the third year in succession after former rider Steve Hislop was injured there in 2001 and last year, Easton developed a misfire when holding a comfortable lead.

"It's not been the best of places for us, that's for sure but I'm hoping it's a case of third time lucky. There's no reason why we can't do the business this year and that's what we're hoping for. Shakey just needs safe points but try telling him that and Stuart is fired up for a good result also so we just need some luck there for once," said Bird from his Penrith office.

Picture courtesy of Double Red.

 

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