Pole For Record Breaker Byrne At SnettertonSat, 01/07/2017
Shane Byrne and the Be Wiser Ducati team will line up in pole position for tomorrow’s opening MCE British Superbike Championship race at Snetterton after the five-times and defending champion set the fastest lap ever around the Norfolk circuit.
With team-mate Glenn Irwin ruled out of round five due to injury, it was again left to Shakey to fly the flag for the Penrith-based squad but having won at the track on the factory-backed Be Wiser Ducati Panigale R twelve months ago, he arrived in confident mood.
Indeed, this was borne out over the three free practice sessions where he was fastest in each, his best time of 1m 47.365s not only placing him almost three tenths of a second quicker than Knockhill winner Jake Dixon but also inside his own lap record from 2016.
That made the Sittingbourne rider very much the rider to beat in this afternoon’s Datatag Extreme Qualifying session where he again topped the timesheets in Q1, over a tenth of a second clear of closest rival Josh Brookes. However, in Q2 he posted a superb lap time of 1m 46.863s which was almost a second quicker than his lap record of 1m 47.714s.
That made him quickest by 0.413s but there was still the single lap ‘Superpole’ to negotiate and confirm the grid positions. With times tumbling as the session progressed, in the style of a true champion, he responded perfectly and lapped at a stunning 1m 46.024s to claim the 51st pole position of his career by over half a second.
Shane Byrne: “When I saw some of the lap times, I thought they were fast and the team joked that I’d need to do a 45.8 to get pole and although I didn’t manage that, I am pleased with the lap and to get pole obviously. I actually made a couple of small mistakes, one at turn two and another at the final corner when I missed the apex, probably after having such a great run through Coram, but I tucked in as much as I could on the run to the line and got the pole position. It’s testament to the team as we’ve been chipping away, working methodically and we had a good race run this morning so fingers crossed. Snetterton’s been good to me in the past and we’ve some good tracks for us now, so we need to maximise that potential and make them count.”
Phil Borley, Technical Director: “It was a fantastic Superpole lap by Shakey and when James Ellison did his lap, the pressure was on a bit but Shakey responded with an awesome time. He’s been quicker than everyone else all weekend, by quite a bit, but it was a phenomenal lap on a race tyre. We’ve got really good race pace so hopefully conditions on race day will be good and we can get two good starts and two wins. With the pace Shakey’s shown all weekend, we’re only looking at the top step this weekend.”
Datatag Extreme Qualifying Positions
1 Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 1m 46.024s
2 James Ellison (Yamaha) 1m 46.561s
3 Jason O’Halloran (Honda) 1m 47.106s
4 Leon Haslam (Kawasaki) 1m 47.120s
5 Jake Dixon (Kawasaki) 1m 47.351s
6 Luke Mossey (Kawasaki) 1m 47.355s