Byrne And Irwin All Set For Thruxton ThrillerTue, 01/08/2017
The 2017 MCE British Superbike Championship heads for the fastest circuit on the calendar this weekend when Thruxton hosts round seven of the series where Be Wiser Ducati Racing Team riders Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne and Glenn Irwin hope to be at the business end of the action.
Londoner Byrne has hit top form in recent races and leads the series following four consecutive victories aboard Paul Bird’s factory-backed Be Wiser Ducati Panigale R meaning he arrives as red-hot favourite to continue his winning streak. The five-times and defending champion was in dominant form at the Hampshire venue last year and was unlucky not to come away with a double win so he aims to put that right and increase his 29-point advantage.
Byrne also has edged clear in the all-important Podium Points column too to lead his nearest rival Leon Haslam by ten which will prove decisive when the Showdown element of the season starts next month.
Meanwhile team-mate Glenn Irwin continues his battle back to fitness after serious shoulder and elbow injuries sustained at Knockhill in round four back in June have hampered his bid. The Carrickfergus rider battled through the pain barrier at the previous round at Brands Hatch to pick up a couple of vital points but despite his valiant efforts, Irwin has dropped out of the top ten in the standings so is desperate to start scoring serious points again.
Like Byrne, Irwin knows the fast sweeping curves of Thruxton will suit the Be Wiser Ducati as well as not being as harsh on his battered body and is especially buoyed by the fact he scored a podium at the corresponding meeting last year aboard the Panigale for the Penrith-based team.
Shane Byrne: “Following the last couple of rounds, my objective this coming weekend is pretty clear, and that’s to try to continue the run of good form. Last year, Thruxton was amazing and looked like being mine and the team's first double win with the Panigale, but a small technical problem robbed us of that in race two so I'll be trying hard to put that right and doing my best to make it a double again this weekend. That said, I'm conscious of the fact that not every weekend can be perfect and I'll take it one race at a time whilst trying my best to score as many Podium Points over my nearest rivals as possible.”
Glenn Irwin: “I found it amusing when I returned to action at Brands Hatch two weeks ago as I read some quotes about returning from injury. I did return but I certainly brought my injury with me, but now we are two weeks further on and arriving at a circuit which should be easier on my shoulder. At Brands Hatch, we ended race two content with points and just one second off Shakey’s fastest lap. I expect to be much closer this weekend but I must remember it's only going to be seven weeks into a predicted 12-week lay off.”