Shakey Byrne

BSB – Shakey takes championship lead after taking double at Brands

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Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne completed a dream double in front of a huge home crowd at Brands Hatch to take the lead in the BSB championship standings.

The two races on the legendary Grand Prix circuit produced five different podium finishers, representing five different manufacturers and five different teams with just seven races now remaining before the Showdown.

An incredible battle opened the day as Byrne denied Dan Linfoot his first ever MCE BSB victory as the Be Wiser Ducati rider stole the lead at Surtees with two laps to go before the race had a premature end due to changing conditions.

At the start of Race One Luke Mossey had fired the JG Speedfit Kawasaki off the line to take the lead from pole sitter Josh Brookes and Linfoot. However, a hectic opening few laps saw Brookes try and attack, but Mossey was keeping his cool as Byrne held station in sixth place.

On the fifth lap Byrne went for a move on Haslam at Surtees, but ran out wide and dropped back three places, giving himself more work to do. At the front Brookes had hit the lead, but Mossey instantly fought back and regained the position.

A big crash for Shaun Winfield caused the first BMW Safety Car deployment of the season, but the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha rider was able to walk away from the incident.

When the race resumed Peter Hickman instantly went for a move as did Linfoot and by the end of the next lap it was Linfoot leading the way from Mossey, Hickman, Leon Haslam and Brookes with Christian Iddon also in close contention.

Hickman waited two more laps before he got his opportunity to snatch the lead; moving ahead at Surtees to push Linfoot back into second place.

Linfoot was coming under pressure from Mossey as he dived down the inside at Paddock Hill Bend on the twelfth lap but the Honda Racing rider fought back and repaid the move into Druids to regain the position.

Hickman was still leading the pack for the Smiths Racing BMW team with Linfoot, Mossey, Haslam and Iddon hot on their heels as Brookes dropped back and was fighting off James Ellison and Byrne.

Linfoot regained the lead on Lap 16 with a decisive move at Paddock Hill Bend, but the defending champion was on the move and he had worked his way up the order to take the lead at Surtees with two laps remaining. The red flag was then bought out when light rain began to fall, but it was enough for Byrne to claim the win.

The result meant Linfoot celebrated his first podium of the season for Honda Racing with Haslam returning to the podium for the first time since Oulton Park as he held off Hickman and Brookes.

The second race was shaping up to be a dogfight between the defending champion and Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha’s Brookes with the pair hitting the front of the pack, and as the Australian hounded down his rival; he crashed out at Surtees on the ninth lap.

As Byrne edged ahead the battle behind was intensifying for third position as Ellison, Iddon, Haslam and Hickman traded blows in their quest for a podium finish. Ellison was upping the pace on the McAMS Yamaha and was able to hold off Iddon as the pair returned to the podium.

Hickman doubled up on fourth places for the Smiths Racing BMW team and continues to hold the final place in the top six with three rounds remaining before the Showdown. Hicky had battled intensely with Haslam during the earlier stage of the race, but was able to forge ahead to leave the JG Speedfit Kawasaki riders battling for fifth with Haslam holding off Mossey and Jason O’Halloran.

Rookie Bradley Ray, Michael Laverty on the second of the McAMS Yamahas, and Jake Dixon completed the top ten.

Byrne said: “The first race was a lot tougher than what I was hoping for but the safety car coming out did me a favour and I got going straightaway again.

The bike had felt really good all weekend in the dry and we were able to prove that in the race so a big thank you to the team. The pace was even hotter in the second race and with a good start decided I had to get to the front as quickly as possible and go for it.

“Once I’d got the lead, I just tried to stay as consistent as possible and watched my pit board. I just kept my rhythm and concentration so to get the double is brilliant and we’re achieving just what we wanted to at our strong circuits.”

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Race one result:

1. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)

2. Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +0.365s

3. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.737s

4. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +0.795s

5. Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +1.535s

6. James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +1.717s

7. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +2.102s

8. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +3.631s

9. John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +3.708s

10. Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +3.792s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Race two result:

1. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)

2. James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +5.787s

3. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +6.167s

4. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +8.039s

5. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +10.079s

6. Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +10.530s

7. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +10.866s

8. Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +13.246s

9. Michael Laverty (McAMS Yamaha) +14.002s

10. Jake Dixon (RAF Reserves Kawasaki) +14.983s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Brands Hatch:

1. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 190

2. Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 161

3. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 159

4. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 133

5. Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) 129

6. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 119

BSB – Byrne takes first season double at Snetterton

MCE British Superbike Championship

Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne delivered his strongest performance of the BSB season so far to claim his first double win of the season for the Be Wiser Ducati team, holding off the challenge from arch rival Josh Brookes in both races.
On the opening lap of race one Leon Haslam fired himself to the front on his racing return ahead of James Ellison, but the McAMS Yamaha was instantly on the attack and claimed the lead with a move at Brundle. Pole sitter Byrne had dropped to fourth at the start, but by the second lap he had pushed his way back into third place when he passed Dan Linfoot on the brakes into Riches.

A lap later and Byrne was up to second, out dragging Haslam down the Senna Straight to move ahead. The defending champion then had Ellison in his sight and on the fifth lap a mistake from the race leader gave Byrne the gap he needed to snatch the position and move to the front of the pack.

Byrne was being chased by Ellison but there was further disappointment for the McAMS Yamaha rider when he suffered a technical problem which forced him to retire from the race. Byrne had the advantage but behind there was a battle of the Australians as Jason O’Halloran was fending off the challenge from Brookes.
Brookes forced the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha ahead and then held off his Honda Racing rival as he bid to close down Byrne, but at the flag it wasn’t enough to make a final strike back; however he showed his rivals he was back in business as he bids for a second crown.

O’Halloran was soon under pressure from a closing Haslam over the final laps but he managed to fend off the closing JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider to return to the podium. Haslam celebrated his return to racing action with a fourth place ahead of the second Honda Racing Fireblade of Dan Linfoot.

Jake Dixon got the better of Peter Hickman in the closing stages with John Hopkins, Bradley Ray and Sylvain Guintoli completing the top ten.

In the second race Byrne again started from the pole position, but it was Brookes that launched off the line fastest at the start to lead the pack into Riches for the first time ahead of Ellison and Byrne with Haslam holding fourth place.

Hopkins and O’Halloran though were moving through the field and the pair were soon on the back of the leading trio of Brookes, Ellison and Byrne. At the front Byrne made a move on Ellison on the ninth lap to close in on his Australian rival, but the McAMS Yamaha wasn’t going to settle behind the five-time champion. However as Ellison bid for podium contention, he crashed out unhurt at Murrays.

At the front Byrne was closing on Brookes and on lap 14 the Be Wiser Ducati rider pushed ahead on the run down to Riches, which O’Halloran repeated on Hopkins as the pair exchanged blows in the battle for third position.

Byrne was able to hold off the counter attack from Brookes to the finish to claim his first double win of the season with O’Halloran completing the first double podium for the Honda Racing team as Hopkins dropped to fifth when Jake Dixon made a last corner move on the final lap.

Hickman claimed sixth place which fired him into the Showdown six in the standings ahead of Linfoot and Haslam. Guintoli and Mossey completed the top ten, with the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider still holding the advantage at the top of the standings ahead of Brands Hatch.

Byrne said: “It’s been a good weekend and in both races, I used my head and bided my time. I didn’t make the greatest of starts in race one but stayed safe in the first few laps and we’d worked hard over the weekend to make sure we were fast throughout the race.

“I took my time to get to the front and then at half race distance pushed on a bit and it all panned out perfectly.

“Race two was definitely tougher as Josh (Brookes) was setting a good pace. He put the hammer down around half race distance so I made my move and obliterated my own lap record to grab the lead soon after.

“The Be Wiser Ducati team did a great job all weekend and after only getting a couple of thirds at Knockhill and with Glenn getting injured, it’s good to put the smiles back on everyone’s faces, especially ahead of my home round at Brands Hatch which is next.”

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Snetterton, Race one result:
1.  Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)
2.  Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +3.295s
3.  Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +7.698s
4.  Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +7.885s
5.  Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +11.656s
6.  Jake Dixon (RAF Reserves Kawasaki) +14.513s
7.  Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +14.698s
8.  John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +16.596s
9.  Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +17.140s
10.Sylvain Guintoli (Bennetts Suzuki) +21.341s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Snetterton, Race two result:
1.  Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)
2.  Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +0.686s
3.  Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +7.701s
4.  Jake Dixon (RAF Reserves Kawasaki) +8.261s
5.  John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +8.544s
6.  Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +13.576s
7.  Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +13.615s
8.  Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +17.625s
9.  Sylvain Guintoli (Bennetts Suzuki) +20.022s
10.Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +23.088s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Snetterton:
1.  Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 147
2.  Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 140
3.  Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 132
4.  Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) 118
5.  Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 115
6.  Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 93

BSB – Shakey smashes Snetterton lap record to take pole

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Defending MCE Insurance British Superbike champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne smashed the existing lap record of Snetterton to set the fastest ever lap of the Norfolk circuit on his way to celebrating pole position ahead of tomorrow’s two races.

The top nine riders prepared themselves for the first Superpole shootout of the season and first to exit pitlane was championship leader Luke Mossey. The JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider set the benchmark with his fastest lap of the weekend, with Jakub Smrz making his first appearance in Superpole. The Czech rider made a mistake at Wilson and had to settle for second.

Next up to attack a flying lap was Leon Haslam, who had fired himself into Superpole in the final stages of Q2. He then outpaced his team-mate to move to the top of the times with his flying lap as Dan Linfoot then rolled out of pitlane to start his Superpole bid for the top.

Linfoot’s best effort put him third fastest behind the JG Speedfit Kawasakis of Haslam and Mossey as Jason O’Halloran on the second of the Honda Racing Fireblades began his flying lap. The Australian was gaining momentum and he crossed the line to move ahead and put himself as the new target at the top of the times.

James Ellison was next to shoot out for his Superpole lap on the McAMS Yamaha and he was consistently improving, as he crossed the line he had done just enough to push O’Halloran back into second with just Josh Brookes, Jake Dixon and Byrne left to set a lap.

Brookes was wrestling with the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha but he could only post the fifth fastest time as Dixon got his flying lap underway at the RAF Reserves Kawasaki’s home circuit. Knockhill double winner Dixon was only marginally faster than Brookes to put himself fourth and then all eyes were on Byrne.

The five-time champion set a blistering pace to lap the 2.968-mile circuit in the fastest ever time, with an incredible lap of 1m:46.024s to put him 0.537s ahead of Ellison to claim pole position ahead of Ellison and O’Halloran who complete the front row.

  1. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 1m:46.024s
  2. James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +0.537s
  3. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +1.082s
  4. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +1.096s
  5. Jake Dixon (RAF Reserves Kawasaki) +1.327s
  6. Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +1.331s
  7. Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +1.486s
  8. Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +2.093s
  9. Jakub Smrz (Lloyd & Jones PR Racing BMW) +2.139s

BSB – Byrne takes title in showdown at Brands

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Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne is celebrating an unprecedented fifth BSB title at his home circuit of Brands Hatch after a season-long battle with arch rival Leon Haslam.

Byrne held a 27 point advantage ahead of the second race of the weekend and the Kent contender knew what he needed to do to deliver the title for the Be Wiser Ducati team to strengthen his statistics as the most successful rider in the history of the series.

Ellison had hit the front of the field in the second race of the weekend in drying conditions on the Grand Prix circuit ahead of Christian Iddon and John Hopkins but title rivals Haslam and Byrne were initially languishing outside the top ten on the opening lap.

The pair were on the move and then continued to gain ground, but at the front the leading trio had edged away from the pack and Ellison ensured that he defended hard to hold off his American rival who scored the ePayMe Yamaha team their first podium finish.

Race one winner Peter Hickman was back on the podium for the second consecutive race after Iddon suffered the heartbreak of a technical problem with just two laps remaining which forced him out of third place.

Haslam and Byrne had battled the nerves of the title fight to move into fifth and sixth respectively after some hard charging moves on Glenn Irwin, Tommy Bridewell and Jason O’Halloran who dropped to ninth in the closing stages of the race.

Ellison was focused on a repeat performance in race two and he gave it his all to celebrate a double victory to claim third in the overall standings and end his 2016 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship season on a high in a ten lap sprint for the third and final race of the season.

The race began with Ellison, Hopkins and Ryuichi Kiyonari duelling at the front of the field, but the race was red flagged when James Rispoli’s Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha suffered a technical problem, leaving an oil line at Hawthorn.

A ten lap restart saw a sprint race to the finish line, again Ellison hitting the lead at Paddock Hill Bend on the opening lap with Hopkins, Kiyonari and Iddon in close contention. Iddon was instantly attacking and on the second lap fired the Tyco BMW ahead of Kiyonari at Paddock Hill Bend, closely followed by a hard-charging Haslam.

Ellison was under pressure from the growing freight train; Hopkins, Iddon, Haslam and 2016 champion Byrne were all battling for the final podium positions of 2016. An incredible scrap went all the way down to the wire with Haslam and Byrne making contact on the final lap in their last dash for supremacy in 2016.

Byrne made it through to third, pushing Haslam back to fourth on the final lap as Ellison celebrated the final spoils of the 2016 season ahead of double podium finish Hopkins for the ePayMe Yamaha team.

Byrne said: “I must admit, it’s a strange feeling to have won the championship with a sixth place finish, but to do so with a new manufacturer is a massive achievement for both myself and the team.

“The conditions in the first race today were very tricky and the bike was strong in the wet part of the track and not so strong in the other parts so it made it very difficult to overtake. Leon came by and I realised I needed to keep one place behind him to clinch the title and while he pulled away initially, he gradually came back to me and we got the job done.”

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, race two result:

1 James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki)

2 John Hopkins (ePayMe Yamaha) +0.093s

3 Peter Hickman (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +4.559s

4 Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +21.528s

5 Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +24.422s

6 Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +24.513s

7 Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +26.109s

8 Tommy Bridewell (Bennetts Suzuki) +26.679s

9 Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +26.752s

10 Luke Mossey (Quattro Plant Teccare Kawasaki) +27.043s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, race three:

1 James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki)

2 John Hopkins (ePayMe Yamaha) +0.083s

3 Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +0.254s

4 Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.335s

5 Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +0.896s

6 Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +2.245s

7 Ryuichi Kiyonari (Smiths Racing BMW) +6.139s

8 Tommy Bridewell (Bennetts Suzuki) +6.428s

9 Luke Mossey (Quattro Plant Teccare Kawasaki) +6.556s

10 Broc Parkes (ePayMe Yamaha) +6.635s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings:

1 Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 669

2 Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 640

3 James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 610

4 Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) 602

5 Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 568

6 Luke Mossey (Quattro Plant Teccare Kawasaki) 550

BSB – double delight for Haslam at Assen takes championship to the wire at Brands

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Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam scored a double victory at Assen to move to within 17 points of Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne, enough to take the championship fight to the wire.

In an incredible opening race Haslam beat his title rival Byrne to the finish line by just 0.010s in a hard-fought contest which opened the penultimate round of the season at Assen.

At the start of the race James Ellison initially led the pack from pole-sitter Byrne with Luke Mossey, Jason O’Halloran and Haslam all in close contention. Mossey was instantly on the move and the young contender dived through ahead of Ellison to lead mid-way through the opening lap, but as they crossed the line he had repaid the move to regain the position.

By lap three Mossey was leading the field from Ellison and Byrne, but the pair were pushing him hard and both went for a move within three corners a few laps later to push him back into third place. Byrne then was hounding Ellison and made a decisive move on lap seven to take the advantage.

Byrne led the pack as they streamed across the line to start the eighth lap, but Haslam was then the rider moving through the field as he first attacked Mossey and then moved second with a dive on his team-mate.

By lap ten Byrne and Haslam were dicing intensely for the advantage and Haslam hit the front of the front of the pack with Ellison making it a JG Speedfit Kawasaki one-two as they pushed Byrne back into third place.

Ellison then traded blows with his team-mate as he made a big move on the eleventh lap to lead the field, but Haslam fought back to lead with a move at the chicane.

A lap later and Byrne moved around the outside of Ellison and then made a move on Haslam at the front to move back into the lead. On the penultimate lap though Haslam and Byrne were pushing each other all the way to the finish, with multiple passes before the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider narrowly won the drag to the line, with Ellison completing the podium.

Haslam was determined to maintain his momentum into race two in his bid to close Byrne in the standings and keep the Be Wiser Ducati in his wheel tracks.

At the start pole-sitter Jason O’Halloran fired the Honda Fireblade to the front of the field from Dan Linfoot, James Ellison and Haslam. Meanwhile championship leader Byrne was languishing outside the top ten in twelfth place after a bad start off the second row.

Ellison was instantly attacking hard and he moved up into second to split the Honda Racing team-mates. Haslam was ready to follow Ellison up the order and a lap later he also moved ahead of Linfoot as O’Halloran was forced to surrender the lead to Ellison.

Ellison’s lead was short lived as Haslam dived ahead a lap later, only for Ellison to retaliate with a move which put him back at the front of the field. A few corners later though and the JG Speedfit Kawasaki paint-swapping continued as Ellison regained control.

Honda Racing’s O’Halloran then moved back into second on the fifth lap, with Haslam holding the lead ahead of the Australian and a chasing pack of Ellison, Linfoot, Luke Mossey and Richard Cooper.

By lap six Byrne was up to seventh and desperately trying to fight his way through the pack to regain the positions, but at the front O’Halloran retook the lead only for Haslam to instantly fire a counter attack just a few corners later but across the line the Honda Racing Fireblade was narrowly ahead.

O’Halloran was clinging onto the lead before Haslam once again hit the front with Ellison then also pushing him back a further place into third as Byrne surged up the pack to be fourth by the 14th lap.

The leading quartet was Haslam, Ellison, O’Halloran and Byrne with Linfoot, Mossey and Cooper pushing for any opportunity to make a move. O’Halloran was able to make another pass on lap 15 to split the JG Speedfit Kawasakis.

Ellison was then dropping down the order but at the front Haslam was holding off O’Halloran and an incoming Byrne who had clawed his way into contention for a podium finish and moved into third with two laps remaining.

On the penultimate lap Byrne was up to second and the last two laps came down to a dogfight between the pair, but the ‘Pocket Rocket’ had the edge at the finish despite the best efforts of his Be Wiser Ducati rival with O’Halloran completing the podium trio.

Speaking after the races, Haslam said: Haslam said: “This was a great weekend for me with two wins, especially after throwing it away in the race at Donington. I only have had one crash in a race this year and I waited until the first race in the Showdown so I am happy with this result and we keep our heads held high.

“We have a few areas we still need to work on; we had two seconds at Brands Hatch before even with some problems but I feel that we have moved on since then. I am feeling pretty good for the final round; from my perspective Shakey smoked me in my back yard at Donington Park and now I want to do the same to him at his! This is what the championship is all about – giving it everything we have got.”

 

 

BSB –Byrne sets Assen alight with 50th career pole

MCE British Superbike Championship

Be Wiser Ducati

Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne set the fastest ever BSB lap of Assen to claim the 50th pole position of his career, firing his Be Wiser Ducati in front of the JG Speedfit Kawasaki duo of James Ellison and Leon Haslam ahead of tomorrow’s two crucial races.

Christian Iddon had been one of the first riders to set a time, but the Tyco BMW rider then headed into the gravel before rejoining and trying to improve, but with an incredibly tight pack and the top seven riders under the existing lap record, he will start ninth on the grid.

Byrne then moved to the top of the times as Ellison hunted him down, but the championship leader continued to up the pace and then fired in an incredible lap that kept his rivals at bay. Ellison was also coming under attack from his team-mate Haslam, but at the chequered flag it was enough to hold the narrow advantage.

Byrne said: “I was happy with that lap and to have a 50th pole position in the championship – that’s not a bad number at all! Yesterday we did struggle a bit with the feeling, at the start of the season we would go to a circuit and it wouldn’t matter if we turned the bike upside down or inside out, back to front, we would struggle to get the feeling from the bike. Back in those early races that would put us back in tenth or twelfth or something else.

“Yesterday the feeling was the same as that, but it showed the progress we have made since then especially as this is such an important part of the season. The team worked hard to make changes and now it works much better and I felt much more confident this afternoon, now we need to see what we can do tomorrow.”

Luke Mossey heads the second row for Quattro Plant Teccare Kawasaki; the Cambridge-based rider saving his best run until the end of the Q3 session due to a threatening rain shower, to hold off the Honda Racing pairing of Jason O’Halloran and Dan Linfoot.

Linfoot was pushing to move ahead and he crashed out of the final session unhurt, however he still held onto the second row start ahead of Richard Cooper and Broc Parkes for the ePayMe Yamaha team.

BSB –Byrne dominates Showdown opener and does the double at Donington

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Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne celebrated a double dose of victory in the opening round of the BSB Showdown at Donington Park.

The four-time champion fought intensely with his title rival Leon Haslam, who finished second in Race One but crashed out of contention while battling to settle the score in Race Two.

In the opening Showdown race Byrne claimed a storming victory to move back to the top of the standings by just two points from arch rival Haslam who finished second.

At the start of race one Title Fighter James Ellison had taken the initial advantage from his team-mate Haslam, Byrne and Christian Iddon. Byrne was instantly on the attack though and moved into second with a move at the Hairpin on the second lap.

The Be Wiser Ducati rider then waited a lap later to make a pass on Haslam with a dive down the inside at the Esses to hit the front of the pack. It was on the same lap that Title Fighter Luke Mossey run straight on into the Esses before retiring to the pitlane with a brake issue.

Byrne and Haslam then pushed on at the front, with Byrne gradually edging a gap on his main title rival to win the race. The battle for third went down to the final laps and Honda Racing’s Jason O’Halloran was pushing to move back into the top three. The Australian waited until there were just three laps to go before pulling off a move into the Esses and then fending off the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider.

Peter Hickman was able to fight off Richard Cooper and Dan Linfoot in an intense battle for fifth place with Iddon holding eighth after dropping back down the order with an off track moment at Goddards earlier in the race. John Hopkins and Michael Laverty completed the top ten.

In Race Two Haslam looked to have the edge off the line as the pack steamed into the Craner Curves for the first time, but Ellison forced his way through with a determined move to take the lead.

O’Halloran was denied the chance to try and make his Race One podium a repeat performance when he crashed out at the old Hairpin when the pack concentinered up. The Australian was left clearly frustrated as he now drops to fifth place in the Showdown standings ahead of Assen.

At the front Ellison was holding off Haslam and Byrne, but the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team-mates were soon to swap positions when the ‘Pocket Rocket’ moved ahead on the seventh lap. Ellison was then under fire from Byrne, who a lap later forced his way ahead as he focused on Haslam ahead of him.

Haslam and Byrne were then scrapping at the front, but as the pair dived for the Melbourne Loop, Ellison pulled one of the most spectacular moves of the season to ride around the outside of the duelling pair.

Ellison led over the line but Haslam then moved back ahead in one of the most intense races of the season so far between the leading trio. Ellison was dropping down the order as he began to lose grip and Linfoot took the advantage to move into third.

Haslam and Byrne were dicing at the front but then disaster struck the former championship leader when he crashed out at Redgate; frustrated the local hero was forced to watch the remainder of the race from the sidelines, subsequently falling 27 points behind double winner Byrne with still five races of the Showdown remaining.

Haslam’s crash promoted Tyco BMW’s Iddon to third behind Linfoot as he returned to the podium for the first time since the second round.

The battle for fourth went to JG Speedfit Kawasaki with Peter Hickman leading Richard Cooper and Tommy Bridewell, who had a full-blown battle to the finish after Ellison dropped down the order to seventh. Luke Mossey, Billy McConnell and Glenn Irwin completed the top ten.

Byrne leads the Title Fighters to Assen , enjoying a 27 point advantage over Haslam, but Linfoot is now just 26 points adrift of second place with Ellison hot on his heels ahead of O’Halloran. Mossey ended a tough weekend with a single eighth place to hold sixth in the standings.

 

BSB – leading duo claim a win apiece at Knockhill

MCE British Superbike Championship

Honda Racing

British Superbike Championship titans Leon Haslam and Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne claimed a win apiece at the fourth round at Knockhill in an incredible pair of races.

In the opening dry race at the Scottish circuit Kawasaki’s Haslam served up his third victory of the season after an intense fight for the win with Honda Racing’s Dan Linfoot.

As the race got underway Jason O’Halloran had hit the front of the pack from Haslam and John Hopkins, with the ‘Pocket Rocket’ hitting the lead with a decisive move on the third lap. As the pair diced for the lead, Byrne was pushing to move up the order, but crashed out on the fourth lap at the Hairpin, collecting Briggs Equipment BMW’s Jake Dixon as he fell.

The incident bought out the safety car and the pack formed up with Haslam leading Hopkins. By Lap 11 Hopkins was looking menacing at the front, briefly taking the lead for the ePayMe Yamaha team, but as they streamed down to the Hairpin Haslam made a strong move to regain the lead.

Linfoot was also on the move, pushing ahead of Hopkins to go second as Luke Mossey carved his way through the field and then also made a move on the American to move into third.

Linfoot then began piling the pressure on Haslam for the lead, regaining the position on the run into Turn One. However, just two laps later Haslam repaid the move with a pass down the inside into the Hairpin and the pair continued to trade blows, but the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider crossed the line to claim the win.

Mossey held off Hopkins to take third, becoming the tenth different rider to claim a podium finish this season with Peter Hickman closing on the leading quartet to score fifth position from Richard Cooper on the Buildbase BMW.

Race Two saw conditions completely change and Be Wiser Ducati’s Byrne bounced back from his crash in the opening race to claim victory, scything his way through the pack before an intense scrap at the front.

Linfoot had initially hit the front ahead of Hopkins, but the positions rapidly changed as Hickman and Haslam moved ahead of the American.

Hickman was hounding Linfoot and the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider pulled a move at the Hairpin to take the lead. However, Linfoot instantly responded, repaying the move to head back into the lead.

As Linfoot and Hickman diced at the front, race one winner Haslam and Byrne had moved into third and fourth respectively and soon the ‘Pocket Rocket’ was trading blows with his team-mate ahead of him. Haslam finally moved ahead of Hickman at the Hairpin with Byrne following him.

Byrne then pulled a pass on championship leader Haslam, moving into second before both Byrne and Haslam took advantage of a mistake by Linfoot when he ran wide, pushing the Honda Racing rider back into third.

Haslam then claimed the lead from Byrne and the leading two riders in the standings then diced intensely for the advantage. Linfoot wasn’t done though, and he moved back to the front of the trio with a move on the 25th lap. However, just one lap later Byrne was back ahead.

Four-time champion Shakey then wasn’t giving an inch and he edged away as the battle for the final podium positions intensified. Linfoot stayed ahead of Haslam, but in the final three laps a hard-charging Ellison continued to move up the order, passing Haslam and then mugging Linfoot for second place at the line.

Hickman surged ahead to fourth in the closing laps ahead of O’Halloran and Haslam who dropped to sixth after suffering with visor problems. Richard Cooper continued his run of strong point scoring finishes in seventh ahead of Tommy Bridewell turned his weekend around to score an eighth place for Bennetts Suzuki.

Howie Mainwaring and Christian Iddon completed the top ten, but it was disappointment for John Hopkins and Glenn Irwin who both crashed out unhurt.

Race One winner Haslam was bullish after the weekend, claiming he could have had a brace of wins bar the visor incident. He said: “We’ve extended the Championship lead over this weekend, but for me it should have been a very easy second win. With ten to 12 laps to go I couldn’t see anything, and I dropped nearly three to four seconds a lap at the end, it wasn’t anything to do with the bike it was purely because I couldn’t see.

“I felt good, I felt the pace I had at the front I could have gone quicker at any point but I just couldn’t see. I’m feeling pretty confident heading into Snetterton, I have a test in between in Japan but we will take the positives from this weekend.”

Race Two winner Byrne relished crossing the line first in challenging conditions. He Said: “It was a difficult second race to be honest. Before we started one of my mechanics said to me it is a long race and you are starting from the fourth row, there are a lot of chances for things to go wrong!

“I got to second quite quickly, then I got in the lead and then Leon passed me. I followed him for a bit and I felt quite happy there, then Dan Linfoot passed me and I thought ‘this isn’t in the plan, I don’t want to go backwards!’

“I got to the front, I had a few little issues to deal with and made a few mistakes and with all the work that I gave the Be Wiser Ducati team this weekend they deserved that win. I had two crashes this weekend and that isn’t like me, so thanks to them – it is onwards and upwards now!”

BSB – Bryne dominates for Scottish double

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Defending BSB champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne has set himself up perfectly for his home round of Brands Hatch in a fortnight’s time  by scoring a Scottish double at Knockhill, holding off the challenges from his closest rivals in two intense races.

Byrne took the lead in the opening race with a decisive move over his team-mate Stuart Easton at the Hairpin on the opening lap and despite the Scot trying everything in his power to fight back, it wasn’t enough and he had to settle for a podium finish.

Michael Laverty had claimed second place on the Tyco BMW after a late surge to pass Australian Josh Brookes on the Milwaukee Yamaha at the Hairpin, but following a review by Race Direction he was later issued a one second penalty for overtaking in a yellow flag zone which dropped him back to fourth. The issued penalty moved Easton to second ahead of Brookes.

The second race started with Laverty hitting the front of the field on the Tyco BMW from Easton and Byrne with Brookes in fourth place. Laverty was defending hard until Byrne made a move to take the lead on the 13th lap and then the pack were dicing for positions when the race was red flagged for a sharp rain shower.

The 11-lap restarted sprint race to the finish was held in dry conditions and Byrne hit the front, holding off the attack from Easton and Brookes as a rejuvenated Ryuichi Kiyonari claimed fourth place for Buildbase BMW after a race one crash.

Jason O’Halloran completed the top five for Honda Racing but it was disappointment for James Ellison at Knockhill as he crashed out of the opening race and then was forced to retire with a technical problem in the second race.

A delighted Shakey said: “It might have looked easy, but I can tell you it wasn’t! The first race was long and the pace was not as quick and I had expected it to be, but I was desperate to be in front.

“In the second race I was one of the riders who put my hand up to get the race stopped. There are people saying if it had run another lap or so it would have been two thirds distance and a result declared – OK, I would still have the win, but to those people I would say come and ride at 155mph into the first turn with rain and see what it is like – it had to be stopped for safety reasons.

“I had a plan for the sprint race and  that was to start at the front and finish at the front. I was able to push hard and the bike was perfect and I can’t wait for Brands Hatch now!”

BSB – Dominant Byrne claims double at Snetterton

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Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne regained the lead in the BSB standings as he blitzed the opposition with a fourth round double victory at Snetterton, leading the double Australian threat of Josh Brookes and Jason O’Halloran.

Byrne had not won a race since the opening round of the season at Donington Park in April, but he beat off the challenge of Milwaukee Yamaha’s Brookes, who had also been scrapping with fellow countryman O’Halloran for Honda Racing.

Whilst Byrne surged back to the top, triple Champion Ryuichi Kiyonari’s troubles continued and he held 19th after tyre woes during the opening race and James Ellison also was struck by misfortune as he was forced to retire, relinquishing his standings lead.

Meanwhile Tommy Bridewell forged forward to secure fourth for Tyco BMW ahead of Dan Linfoot and Chris Walker aboard the Be Wiser Kawasaki, who scored his best result of the season so far for the Tommy Hill-managed squad.

An incident-packed second race featured early drama for Kiyonari as he crashed out of contention on the third lap before the Nissan GT-R Safety Car was called in to play when Taylor Mackenzie had to eject from his WD40 Kawasaki as it became engulfed in flames.

The race soon resumed and Byrne was not going to take any prisoners, claiming the second win of the day. However behind the chasing pack were scrapping it out and Brookes overcame some earlier electrical gremlins to claim second after a pulling a determined move on O’Halloran at Nelsons.

Laverty equalled his best result of the season in fourth place ahead of Ellison, who salvaged a seventh place which now leaves him third in the standings ahead of Stuart Easton who took seventh and sixth places on the second PBM Kawasaki.

Byrne said: ““The weekend feels pretty good with these two wins. We had a problem in the first race with the bike thinking that it was changing gear when it was not – that race was actually a lot harder than it looked because of that. I had to be careful to keep a good pace and rhythm and bring the bike home to win.

“The guys fixed the bike and it was faultless in the second race and I never looked back. I anticipated it would be a tougher race with Josh [Brookes] starting alongside me but I chipped away at it then saw Jason [O’Halloran] up there. I watched my pit-boards, rode consistently and did what I had to do. It felt like I was cruising around – the team had worked so hard to hard to get us where we are, so now it is onwards and upwards for us.”