Row Two Start For Byrne At ThruxtonSat, 05/08/2017
Be Wiser Ducati Racing Team duo Shane Byrne and Glenn Irwin had a tough afternoon at Thruxton today when they qualified in fifth and 20th place respectively for this weekend’s seventh round of the 2017 MCE British Superbike Championship at Thruxton.
Riding the factory-backed Ducati Panigale R for Paul Bird’s Penrith-based team, five-times and defending champion Byrne looked comfortable throughout free practice and he made it through Datatag Extreme Q1, posting the second fastest time before going quicker still in Q2 although such was the pace a lap of 1m 14.790s was only good enough for seventh quickest.
That meant the Sittingbourne rider was through to Datatag Extreme Superpole but Shakey, like other riders, was unable to go quicker and despite his best efforts during the single qualifying lap, his time was 1m 15.193s which placed him fifth overall and in the middle of the second row for tomorrow’s opening 20-lap race.
Team-mate Irwin was continuing his return from injury and finished in the top twelve of all three of the free practice sessions, putting him just a second off Josh Brookes’ quickest time and in a strong position ahead of Datatag Extreme Qualifying.
Having taken his maiden BSB podium at the Hampshire circuit twelve months ago, the Carrickfergus rider was in confident mood prior to qualifying but it proved to be an extremely tough Q1 session for the 27 year old and with a quickest time of 1m 15.819s, he could only manage 20th place. It meant he was knocked out after the conclusion of Q1 and a seventh row start gives him a lot of work to do in tomorrow’sopening race.
Shane Byrne: “I’m not happy at all with how qualifying and Superpole went but I guess fifth isn’t the end of the world. We’ve had a really difficult weekend so far and after two strong meetings, we had high hopes coming to Thruxton especially as the bike went so well last year. It just hasn’t worked like it did in 2016 though and it’s really frustrating as I’ve been trying really hard but we’ll work hard as a team overnight and look to make a few changes to the bike for tomorrow.”
Glenn Irwin: “Both Shakey and I struggled today albeit at a different level and the bike’s not in the sweet spot at the moment. It doesn’t mean we can’t turn it around though as it was a similar story last year and it all came good on race day. My injury’s still an issue but it’s a lot better than it was at Brands and I don’t want to use it as an excuse. It’s just tough going and hard to take at present as before the injury I was riding well and looking for my first race win whereas now, we’re battling just to make it into the points.”
Phil Borley, Technical Director: “It’s been a tough afternoon and a disappointing outcome although I don’t think the qualifying positions reflect our race pace. Glenn didn’t manage to get a clear lap in to begin with in Q1 and then on his second run, a problem with the bike dented his hopes of getting into the top 18 and through to Q2. Shakey was a bit frustrated not to go as quick in qualifying as what he had done in FP3 and he hasn’t got the same feeling with the bike as what he did in 2016. He’s looking for the bike to work better in certain parts of the circuit but whilst he’s struggling a little with the one-lap pace, his race pace is good. Obviously, we’re hoping both riders improve on their qualifying performances in both races.”
1 Jake Dixon (Kawasaki) 1m14.052s
2 Josh Brookes (Yamaha) 1m14.256s
3 Peter Hickman (BMW) 1m14.657s
4 Christian Iddon (BMW) 1m14.780s
5 Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 1m15.193s
6 Dan Linfoot (Honda) 1m15.268s
20 Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) 1m15.819s