Snetterton Double Win Puts Byrne In Command

Round four of the 2015 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship took place at Snetterton where the Penrith-based Paul Bird Motorsport team enjoyed a superb day as reigning champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne stormed to a dominant double race win to lead the title chase.

Aboard the PBM Kawasaki ZX-10R, four-time champion Byrne started the first 16 lap race from pole position for the first time this season and a superb start saw him complete the first lap with an incredible 2.3 second lead. The rider from Sittingbourne maintained his advantage and increased his lead to almost four seconds before running to his pit board to come home a comfortable winner.

With further improvements to the machine for race two, Byrne again took an early lead in race two and although a safety car period allowed the pack to bunch up, by lap seven his lead was up to almost two seconds. Lapping over half a second quicker than all of his rivals, he wasn’t to be denied and he duly swept to his second victory, this time by almost five seconds.

It was Shakey’s 64th career win and the 14th time he had scored an MCE BSB double victory meaning he now holds a 17 point advantage over nearest rival Josh Brookes whom he beat into second place in both races.

Team-mate Stuart Easton, from Hawick, also enjoyed a reasonably good day at the Norfolk venue, somewhere he hasn’t enjoyed the greatest of fortunes in the past, and took a brace of top seven finishes to maintain his fourth place overall in the championship table.

Having taken a victory and a podium finish already this season, the results saw the former double British Supersport champion consolidate his fourth place in the standings as the Scot eyes a place in the all-important Showdown later in the season.

Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne

“The weekend could have been worse couldn’t it?! It’s been a superb weekend for me and with a great start in the first race, I was able to get into a good rhythm straight away. It allowed me to get a good advantage and it played into my hands as about a third of the way through the race, I had a slight issue with the quickshifter and so had to nurse the bike home a bit. The PBM team did a great job and rectified the issue for race two and I knew I could run a faster pace and that’s exactly what happened. I tried to keep it as clean as possible and pole position and a double is perfect.”

Stuart Easton: “Snetterton is always my least favourite circuit on the calendar so to come away with a sixth and a seventh is not a bad day at all. It was difficult out there and I was struggling in the last sector so it was a case of hanging on. The team gave me a great bike and it kept me in touch so a big thanks to them. Staying in a good fourth overall is what I wanted and I can look forward to my home round at Knockhill now where I’ll be looking to fly the Scottish flag high.”

Paul Bird, Team Owner: “It’s been a fantastic weekend for us and Shakey’s been dominant today. He never looked like being beaten and showed what a class act he is. It’s always been Stuart’s bogey track so for him to come away with sixth and seventh is better than we expected too and we’re looking strong in first and fourth overall in the championship. After a busy fortnight at the TT, we’ve shown our class today and got straight back into winning again so well done to the whole Paul Bird Motorsport Team.”

MCE British Superbike Championship Race One – 16 laps
1 Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki)
2 Josh Brookes (Yamaha)
3 Jason O’Halloran (Honda)
4 Tommy Bridewell (BMW)
5 Dan Linfoot (Honda)
6 Chris Walker (Kawasaki)
7 Stuart Easton (PBM Kawasaki)

MCE British Superbike Championship Race Two – 16 laps
1 Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki)
2 Josh Brookes (Yamaha)
3 Jason O’Halloran (Honda)
4 Michael Laverty (BMW)
5 Tommy Bridewell (BMW)
6 Stuart Easton (PBM Kawasaki)

Championship Positions (after four rounds)
1 Byrne 151pts
2 Brookes 134
3 Ellison 118
4 Easton 99
5 Bridewell 77
6 O’Halloran 74

The fifth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship takes place at Knockhill in two weeks’ time (July 3/5th). For more information, please visit www.britishsuperbike.com and the brand new team website www.pbmuk.net.

Copyright free pictures attached (courtesy of Jon Jessop Photography) Shane Byrne (67) in action and on the podium and Stuart Easton (5) in action at Snetterton this weekend.

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