Shane 'Shakey' Byrne believes nothing more than three victories will be enough as he looks to win the British Superbike Championship this weekend at Brands Hatch. The Londoner hasn't enjoyed the best of luck in the Showdown so far and trails John Hopkins by 44 points ahead of this weekend's finale.
But with 75 points still available, Byrne is refusing to give up although he realises that he needs a maximum score to give him the best possible chance.
“Brands Hatch is like my back garden so performing strongly there is always important to me as I get so much support. We come into the final three races at Brands Hatch on the back foot after the first two rounds of the Showdown but that’s how it is. Nothing short of three race wins will be enough and myself and the HM Plant Honda team will be doing everything we can to achieve that.”
“We had a few laps at Cadwell Park on Monday lunchtime but we utilised the time well and we were able to test a few changes that we didn’t have time for at Silverstone. We were only using old tyres but we were not too far off; in fact on one lap we were as quick as one of my race laps from the round there in August. We are taking the positives from that to Brands Hatch this weekend and if we do win the races and something incredible happens then we could still be champions again.”
Teammate Ryuichi Kiyonari is out of contention after a nightmare couple of meetings with reliability problems and difficulties in qualifying. The Japanese rider will hand over his BSB crown this weekend but is determined to go out on a high.
“I think Brands Hatch will be a good track for the HM Plant Honda team and we have been working hard to make improvements for the final rounds, but I really want results. I don't want to end the season in the same way as we have at other rounds. It won't be easy, I know but it is my favourite track and with three races we have a better opportunity to make changes. It has been frustrating but I want good results this weekend for myself and the team.”
HM Plant Honda team manager Havier Beltran is confident that they will have the package to challenge for wins, something they haven't achieved in eight races.
“It is time for the final Showdown and for Shakey it is still mathematically possible for him to win the title; he is down on points compared to the leading pair, but as we saw last season anything can happen. It won't be easy but the whole HM Plant Honda team is motivated for a good end to the year and we are confident in the package of the Fireblade that we can be in contention for the wins. We hope that this weekend we can resolve the issues that Kiyo has been experiencing in order for him to have a better final round.”