Historic Double One-Two For Byrne And Easton At Knockhill

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Knockhill 

Penrith-based Paul Bird Motorsport enjoyed a brilliant and historic day at the fifth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Knockhill in Scotland today with reigning champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne taking another double race victory with Scottish  team-mate Stuart Easton claiming a double podium at his home track.

Aboard the PBM Kawasaki ZX-10Rs, Byrne and Easton dominated throughout practice and qualifying and duly lined up in first and second respectively on the grid for the opening race where they stayed for the majority of the 30 laps. Despite a titanic battle, Byrne led throughout to record his ninth race victory at the Fife track with local hero Easton dropping to third in the latter stages as they crossed the line.

However, a post race judicial decision saw original second placed finisher Michael Laverty penalised two places meaning Easton was promoted to second position behind his team-mate meaning an historic first ever one-two for Paul Bird’s team in the British Superbike Championship.

Race two saw Byrne and Easton line up in fifth and fourth respectively on the grid and by half race distance, four-times MCE BSB champion Byrne was leading with Easton just behind. However, on lap 19 the race was stopped due to rain and restarted with a shortened 11 lap dash but the two team-mates made the best start from the revised front row and they came home in first and second places to complete an unprecedented double one-two for the Cumbrian-based team.

It upped Shakey’s tally to 66 career wins with ten of those coming in Scotland and combined with his double victory at the previous round at Snetterton, his count of doubles now stands at 15. The results also mean that now he has extended his championship lead over Josh Brookes to 35 points with Easton moving up to third overall.

Shane Byrne: “The pace in the first race wasn’t the fastest but each time I tried to push hard and make the break, the bike was spinning up a bit and it didn’t quite feel right. My lead stayed around the 0.2 seconds mark so I tried to stay consistent, hitting all my lines, and then waited until the last couple of laps to go again. In the second race, the plan was to start from the front and finish at the front and with not having a full tank of fuel for the restart; I knew I could push hard straight away. The bike was perfect so a big thanks to the team and also to the guys at K-Tech and with Stuart in second, it’s been a great weekend for Paul Bird Motorsport.”
Stuart Easton: “I still haven’t managed a win at Knockhill after all these years but I’m pleased with second and third even though I was a bit disappointed with the result in the first race as I felt settled sitting behind Shakey and was strong in the last sector. Then Michael Laverty came under me and there was a bit of contact so I lost the tow to Shakey, I got beat up a bit but at least I got a podium. The second race was a lot better and it’s more points and podium credits so thanks to the team and well done to everyone at Knockhill for doing a great job.”

Paul Bird, Team Owner: “We’re on a roll at the moment and right from Friday morning the boys were on it and clearly showing their intentions. I had a feeling it would be a good meeting for the team as Knockhill’s traditionally given us good results and so it proved again. We’ve made further improvements to the bike which both riders took full advantage of and to take a double one-two on my Dad’s birthday is an excellent outcome, well done to everyone at Paul Bird Motorsport.”

MCE British Superbike Championship Race One (30 laps)
1 Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki)
2 Stuart Easton (PBM Kawasaki)
3 Josh Brookes (Yamaha)
4 Michael Laverty (BMW)
5 Jason O’Halloran (Honda)
6 Danny Buchan (Kawasaki)

MCE British Superbike Championship Race Two (11 laps)
1 Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki)
2 Stuart Easton (PBM Kawasaki)
3 Josh Brookes (Yamaha)
4 Ryuichi Kiyonari (BMW)
5 Jason O’Halloran (Honda)
6 Michael Laverty (BMW)

Championship points (after five rounds)
1 Byrne 201pts
2 Brookes 166
3 Easton 139
4 Ellison 118
5 O’Halloran 96
6 Bridewell 86

The sixth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship takes place at Brands Hatch in two weeks’ time (July 17/19th). For more information, please visit www.britishsuperbike.com and the team website www.pbmuk.net.

Copyright free pictures (courtesy of Jon Jessop Photography) Both PBM riders on the podium, Shane Byrne (67) and Stuart Easton (5).