After dominating the first half of the season, MonsterMob Ducati's Shane Byrne is eager to get back to winning ways when round eight of the British Superbike Championship travels across the Irish Sea to Mondello Park this weekend.

'Shakey' won nine of the opening eleven races but has managed a just a trio of second places since although his title challenge remains well on course having increased his lead further in the last round at Rockingham to a massive 144 points.

The Isle of Sheppey rider only needs to finish fifth in all remaining ten races to clinch his first major title and considering his worst result to date is second, it shouldn't be too hard a task but the 26-year-old has his sights set on wrapping things up as soon as possible.

"I hate finishing second so it's a case of getting back to winning again this weekend," satetd Byrne. "I know that safe points are all I need in every race but it would be good to beat the record of 13 wins in a season. If I could do that I'd be champion but I'm not silly enough to throw things away. But there is no doubt, I want to win again this weekend and increase the advantage past the magical 150 points bracket. Mondello is a new track for us all so it should be interesting."

If Byrne does his fourth double of the season as he is hoping, it means he would need just two more wins to be sure of the title and those could come at the following round at the team's local track, Oulton Park.

Teammate Stuart Easton is also hoping for success at the Co. Kildare circuit where he arrives 60 points adrift of British Supersport Championship leader Karl Harris. The Hawick teenager celebrates his birthday this weekend and is hoping for the best present of the lot in the form of 25 points.

"I've said it for a few races now but I really do need to win this weekend and hope that Karl drops some points so I can close the gap on him. I've had a look at the track and I think it will suit the Ducati so there should be no excuses," said the defending champion.

Team owner Paul Bird makes a welcome return to Ireland, having won the Irish Supermoto Championship three times in the late nineties and the superstitious Cumbrian is hoping that his team will have the luck of the Irish this weekend.

"I'll not be doing anything different with regards to how I used to prepare when I raced over there, that's for sure!" he smile. "If Shakey can do the business, then I'll quite happily absorb the pressure that will be on us at the following round but there are a lot of laps to be done before then. Stuart needs to get his finger out and put the Ducati on top of the box as the Supersport trophy cabinet is looking a bit depleted but if we can have a successful weekend, we may just sample some of the black stuff afterwards."

 

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