Shane Byrne feels live TV took priority over rider concerns on track conditions for the opening Silverstone race after seeing his request to delay the start rejected by race direction.

The MCE British Superbike championship leader was seen speaking to race direction Stuart Higgs with fellow senior riders Leon Haslam and John Hopkins on the grid, with Byrne voicing his opinion to stall the start of the race in order to allow the Silverstone track to dry after a heavy rain shower had soaked the outer section while the other half of the circuit was damp but drying.

Byrne’s concerns were waved away by race director Stuart Higgs and the race began without delay to provide a tense race in mixed conditions in which a handful of riders were caught out by the conditions – including Haslam and Byrne.

After the race the Be Wiser Ducati rider was critical of the call not to delay the race and feels live TV took priority over riders at Silverstone.

“The race was a complete non-event. I was really disappointed with race direction because you’ve got your top riders in your championship coming to you and saying this race is dangerous,” Byrne said on Eurosport TV. “You can’t run that race as wet as it was wet on the back straight but the rest of the track being dry. That would destroy wet tyres and then risk us all falling down on intermediates or slicks.

“Stuart said no. So clearly Eurosport TV are far more important than the riders in this championship. That is disappointing for me. My crash has cost thousands of pounds in damage and I’m really sorry to Paul [Bird] and the team.

“It might be looked at like Shakey fell off or didn’t win but his team-mate did but I am thrilled for Glenn first and foremost and the other guys on the podium.

“I think sometimes if this was MotoGP and Valentino or a few of the big boys went up and said to the race direction you need to give this track 10 or 15 minutes to dry up a little bit something would have been done about it. The way it was handled was disappointing.

“I made a decision before the race not to bother riding as I knew I was in Showdown as I know the seventh-placed rider couldn’t score enough points. When Leon fell off and I was riding around in seventh or eighth it was pointless and I wish I had stuck with my gut instinct. I’m disappointed with race direction and I’m sure Stuart is going to have a chat with me about it but fuck it, he knows where I am so he will need to come and see me.”

 

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