Shakey Plans Final Round FightTue, 10/10/2017
The final round out of the 2017 MCE British Superbike Championship takes place at Brands Hatch this forthcoming weekend with defending champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne still well in the hunt to land his sixth crown.
Having led the series up until recently for Paul Bird’s Lake District-based team, the Sittingbourne-based Londoner occupies third place in the standings following a disastrous run of luck in recent rounds aboard the factory-backed Be Wiser Ducati Panigale R but arrives at his local track in confident mood where he claimed a superb double victory in the summer.
Byrne has won a total of 17 BSB races around the Kent Grand Prix track as well as two World Superbike races and can count on his legions of fans to add to the support at the triple-header race weekend where he is 33 points behind series leader Leon Haslam and just one point adrift of his bitter rival Josh Brookes.
Last year, the title scrap was just as intense and it was Haslam’s turn to be out of luck at the final round, leaving Byrne to claim a record-breaking fifth title and such is the nature of the world’s best domestic Superbike championship, Shakey knows anything can, and probably will, happen.
Team-mate Glenn Irwin is hoping to get back to the sort of form which saw him take victory at Silverstone last month aboard the Be Wiser Ducati Panigale R to round off a frustrating season for the Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland rider.
The 27 year old has had to contend with the serious injuries he sustained mid-season which ultimately cost him a place in the title-deciding Showdown but is hoping to play his part in backing up Byrne by taking points off his rivals. Irwin struggled at the previous round at Assen but plans to get back to the kind of form he’s capable of at Brands Hatch this weekend.
Shane Byrne: “Well it's here, the final round of the year and it's all still to play for. Whilst it looks like Leon has one hand on the trophy, all it takes is a mechanical issue or a crash and it would turn everything completely upside down. I'm going to Brands Hatch with the same intention and approach as any other round and that's to try to win all the races. Hopefully with a fair chunk of luck on our side, which we've lacked massively lately, it'll be enough to get the job done, if not we'll go down fighting that's for sure.”
Glenn Irwin: “It’s hard to believe this is the last round and in some ways, I'm looking forward to the off-season to reset after a year of ups and downs. That said I'm going all out at Brands Hatch this weekend as there’s a job to be done both for myself and if I can help him, for Shakey too. We have learnt in recent rounds that I'm too cautious on a tyre at the beginning of races so now I intend to race from the off. If I can get a couple of decent results this weekend, that will set us up nicely for the winter break.”
Championship standings (after 11 rounds)
1 L Haslam 612pts
2 J Brookes 580
3 S Byrne 579
4 J Dixon 558
5 P Hickman 549
6 J O’Halloran 526
14 G Irwin 120