Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne salvaged a podium finish in the second MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship race at Snetterton in what was a disappointing weekend for the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki team at Snetterton.
The double British Superbike champion qualified on row two of the grid but any hopes of improving on his third place in the championship standings disappeared when a mechanical problem forced him out when challenging for the lead in the opening race.
With a change of engine effected by the Paul Bird Motorsport team for race two, Shakey bounced back to record a second place finish to keep his championship bid on track after the hectic 16-lap race at the red hot Norfolk track.
It was a similar story for Scotsman Stuart Easton who also qualified on row two aboard his Kawasaki ZX-10R and ended up retiring with an electrical problem in the opening race. However, Easton too found race two slightly kinder to him when he recorded an eighth place finish to maintain his all-important top six place in the title race.
Ulsterman Keith Farmer got his championship back on track although he woud have preferred to finish higher than fifth in the Metzeler National Superstock 1000 race. Farmer qualified in second on the grid and ran as high as second before ending up in fifth to hold fourth in the standings going into the next round at Knockhill next month.
Stuart Easton: “A tough day at the races, really. We started the weekend with a struggle and never really gelled with the circuit having missed it last year. We were on the back foot so to come from 20th after free practice and then qualify on the second row was good and our best of the year so far. Race one, the bike stopped on the first lap when I was running seventh and in the lead group so that put me 17th on the grid for race two and I came through for an eighth place finish. So we’ve worked hard for eight points and that’s not really what we came for. But we’re still in the top six and the next three circuits are all tracks that I enjoy so I’ll just go away, keep training and focus on scoring some stronger finishes.”
Shane Byrne: “The first race was a bit disappointing but it happens in racing from time to time so we just had to focus on the second race. Michael Laverty went off like a scalded cat and I didn’t really have an answer for him. I eventually got to second and just tried to maintain my pace but then Josh Brookes came back at me and I honestly thought the penultimate lap was the last lap. I was weaving all over the track trying to keep Josh behind and stop him from getting a tow and then I came round and saw the last lap flag! But fortunately I fought him off and second here is great, we’ll take that after the disappointment of race one.”
Keith Farmer: “I got a good start and followed Jason O’Halloran and then settled into it. Danny Buchan came by me and I tagged on to him but then the bike developed a slight misfire so I don’t know what has happened. I ended up fifth so I’m pretty disappointed but just relieved that I was still able to finish and score some decent points.”
Phil Borley, Technical Director: “Obviously the first race was a disaster for us. We had an engine problem with Shakey’s bike and then an electrical problem with Stuart’s. So we were happy with Shakey’s podium in the second race, I think he rode well considering he had no knowledge from the first race and we had no data. Stuart starting from where he did on the grid got a good finish and I don’t think he was comfortable with the bike this weekend so to get some points is good but that’s all it is and we know we need to do better. We’re looking forward to Knockhill now, it’s a circuit both our riders enjoy and as a team we’ll be working hard to give them what they need to challenge for wins.”
MCE British Superbike Championship Race 1 (16 laps)
1 Tommy Hill (Yamaha)
2 Michael Laverty (Honda)
3 Josh Brookes (Suzuki)
4 Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha)
5 Alex Lowes (Honda)
6 Tommy Bridewell (BMW)
DNF Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
DNF Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
MCE British Superbike Championship Race 2 (16 laps)
1 Michael Laverty (Honda)
2 Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
3 Josh Brookes (Suzuki)
4 Ian Lowry (Honda)
5 Graeme Gowland (Honda)
6 Alex Lowes (Honda)
8 Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
Championship points (after 4 rounds)
1 Brookes 124pts
2 Hill 123pts
3 Byrne 108
4 Laverty 81
5 Lowry 73
6 Easton 66
Metzeler National Superstock 1000cc Championship race (14 laps)
1 Jason O’Halloran (Honda)
2 Danny Buchan (Kawasaki)
3 Patrick Medcalf (Kawasaki)
4 Steve Brogan (BMW)
5 Keith Farmer (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
6 Daniel Johnson (Kawasaki)
Championship points (after 6 rounds)
1 O’Halloran 92pts
2 Buchan 85
3 Storrar 71
4 Farmer 70
5 Brogan 69
6 Cox 53
Images attached (courtesy of Jon Jessop & Double Red): Keith Farmer (303) and Shane Byrne (67) in action at Snetterton and Shane Byrne celebrating on the podium.
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