FORMER CHAMPION BYRNE BEGINS FIGHTBACK

BENNETTS BRITISH SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP
ROUND SEVEN – SNETTERTON – SUNDAY 18 JUNE

Shane Byrne enjoyed successful times at Snetterton in the formative years of his career and now he is determined to turn around his season there in the seventh round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship.

The former winner of the title has had a tough time on his return to domestic action after the three years in the fast-lane of World MotoGP but his technical input to the Rizla Suzuki team is making the telling difference.

At Oulton Park he was running inches down on defending champion Gregorio Lavilla as he took a determined second place, followed by a third, and then last time out at Mallory Park, despite struggling with a lack of grip Byrne was twice in the top five.

“Towards the end of those races I was running on the same pace as the leaders. Importantly, we have a few ideas on how to improve the bike further so I can get away with them and then we can really compete for the wins,” explained Byrne, adding: “ It’s onwards and upwards from here and I’ve decided it’s podiums for me from now on in.”

He has enjoyed successes over the years at the Norfolk circuit, from his club racing days, through to Superbikes: “I won my first ever British Championship race at Snetterton on a 600, so it has good memories for me, but now I intend to have more.”

His team-mate James Haydon is racing against time to be fully fit, having suffered
injuries to his left arm in a high speed crash during practice for the last round, and he too expects to be challenging for maximum points.

That should add to the developing front-running scraps for supremacy. Ryuichi Kiyonari put his HM Plant Honda onto top spot for only the second time this season with a strong performance at Mallory Park, but mainly it is Leon Haslam who is posing most of the questions as he hotly pursues his series leading Airwaves Ducati team-mate Lavilla.

The Spaniard is in dominant form, taking seven victories and three thirds, as he has piled up a massive 62 points lead in the title stakes. He is meticulous in his preparations and goes into these races at the Norfolk circuit, where last year he tasted victory in the afternoon’s second race, expecting even better returns.

Haslam is desperate to get ahead of him here. The young Derbyshire rider has title aspirations of his own, and with no team orders is trying everything he knows to achieve that season first victory. That is also uppermost on the mind of Karl Harris.

The Sheffield rider pressed Lavilla all of the way at Oulton Park and came close to enjoying the winner’s champagne for the first time as a Superbike rider. The three times winner of the British Supersport title needs to put his effort, aboard the second HM Plant Honda, firmly back on track here.

Michael Rutter and his Stobart Honda team-mate Michael Laverty are showing better form, but the biggest threat to Lavilla could be posed by Jonathan Rea, riding the Red Bull Honda, who has shown speed and style, particularly in qualifying, to suggest he will soon be pressing for race glory

Adding to the action are the trio of Virgin Mobile Yamaha riders led by Tommy Hill; the twin Aussie challenge of the Hawk Kawasakis in the hands of Dean Thomas and Craig Coxhell; the triple challenge of the Vivaldi Suzukis and the Hydrex Hondas of Glen Richards and Gary Mason.

Chris Martin, riding the PR Branson Honda, will be bidding to extend his lead over James Buckingham in the chase for honours in the British Superbike Cup, with Marty Nutt moving into the equation after a strong points haul last time out.

Around the two Superbikes races, there is a full supporting programme featuring the British Supersport Championship, the Metzeler Racetec National Superstock Championship and Cup, the British 125GP Championship and the Virgin Mobile Cup.

TRACK FACTS

Circuit Length: 1.952 miles

Lap records

Superbike
Ryuichi Kiyonari, Honda, 1m 05.685s, 106.98mph 10:07:05
Supersport
Stuart Easton, Ducati, 1m 08.588s, 102.45mph, 10:07:05
Superstock
Ben Wilson, Suzuki, 1m 08.173s, 103.07mph, 25:04:04
125GP
Casey Stoner, Honda 1m 13.774s, 95.25mph, 07:05:01
Virgin Mobile Cup
Brendan Roberts, Yamaha, 1m 12.164s, 97.37mph, 10:07:05

Flashback – Rd – 8 10 July 2005
Bennetts British Superbike Championship
Pole: L Haslam, Ducati, 1m 05.403

Race One – 25 laps
1 R Kiyonari Honda 27:34.719
2 L Haslam Ducati 27:42.999
3 J Reynolds Suzuki 27:46.721
4 J Haydon Suzuki 27:47.982
5 M Rutter Honda 27:54.444
6 K Harris Honda 28:03.128
Fastest lap: Kiyonari, 1m 05.685, 106.98mph
Race Two – 25 laps
1 G Lavilla Ducati 27:39.538
2 M Laverty Honda 27:41.306
3 M Rutter Honda 27:45.520
4 J Reynolds Suzuki 27:49.618
5 S Plater Honda 28:00.921
6 B Wilson Kawasaki 28:01.204
Fastest lap: Laverty, 1m 05.713s, 106.93mph

British Superbike Cup
Race One
1 C Martin Suzuki 28:32.151
Race Two
1 D Beaumont Honda 28:19.148

Metabo British Supersport – 19 laps
1 L Camier Honda 21:59.766

British 125GP – 18 laps
1 C Jones Honda 22:28.057

Metzeler Racetec National Superstock – 20 laps
1 A Coates Suzuki 23:05.260

Metzeler Racetec National Superstock Cup – 16 laps
1 P Veavey Kawasaki 18:51.329

Virgin Mobile Cup – 15 laps
1 J-B Lee Yamaha 18:15.419

RIDER’S VIEW: Shane Byrne – Rizla Suzuki

“I won my first ever British Championship race at Snetterton on a 600cc machine, so it has good memories for me. A lot of people say that it is just two straights connected together but it’s a fair bit more fun than that. The 200mph Revett straight is a rush followed by the bomb-hole, a very exciting and potentially dangerous corner. The right hander that takes you through to the final chicane is a very fast blast with quick entry and exit speeds – then you need to get in and out of the chicane as quick as you can and that can be tricky.”

TELEVISION TIMES

Sunday 18 June

ITV 1: 15.00 – 16.30 Men & Motors (live) British Superbikes

SKY Sports 1 – 22.30 – 02.00 Superbikes, Supersport, 125GP, Superstock

Saturday 24 June

ITV 1: 14.00 – 15.30

 

 


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