Despite a difficult day at Brands Hatch, reigning champion Shane Byrne is looking to focus on the positives as he finally got his season underway.
Having been ruled out of the opening round a couple of weeks ago, Byrne was more than ready for the racing to start on Easter Monday.
In race one, starting from the second-row, Byrne made steady progress through the field from seventh position in the early laps up to fourth in the latter stages. Despite his best efforts to catch the top three, this is where the five-time champion would finish the race.
Speaking about race one Byrne said: “I’m looking at the weekend with the glass very much being half full as there are a lot of positives to take away. It was a difficult weekend for sure and I’ve got to say the first race was really hard work as I was suffering a lot with wheel-spin but the team turned things around and the bike I was riding in the second race was probably the best bike we’ve ever had in terms of set-up.”
Byrne was on the second-row once again for race two, and made swifter progress through the field and was to up to fourth by half-race distance.
Byrne made his move on Leon Haslam for third but moments later his race came to a premature end. As Byrne entered Clearways, he lost the front end and crashed – fortunately without injury.
Byrne added: “Conditions suited us and I was comfortable with the pace I was running and I felt it was only going to be a matter of time before I hit the front. Once I got by Leon for third, I knew he’d be fighting back straightaway and so defended my line with a tighter line than normal going into Clearways.
Unfortunately, I caught the bumps and whilst I tried my utmost to save it I ended up upside down. That’s racing and whilst there’s still a long way to go, we need to start winning races and clawing back some of the podium credits.”
The crash means that Byrne finds himself down in 14th position in the championship, with a 73-point gap between himself and series leader, Haslam.
However Byrne is only 23 points behind the final Showdown position, which is currently taken by Be Wiser Ducati teammate Glenn Irwin.