Dominant Byrne seals impressive Snetterton double


Shane Byrne - Snetterton Double
Shane Byrne stands on the top step of the podium at Snetterton (credit: Jon Jessop Photography)

Shane Byrne put in a faultless display at Snetterton to seal an impressive double victory and move up into second spot in the championship.

The reigning champion started the opening race of the day from pole position after smashing the previous circuit record in qualifying.

Byrne would not make the greatest of starts and would end the first lap down in fourth, with Leon Haslam gaining the early advantage.

His sluggish start would soon turn itself around though as Byrne got the better of Dan Linfoot on the brakes into Riches. Lap three saw Byrne move up into second, dis-placing Haslam who had lost the lead to James Ellison.

A mistake from Ellison on the fifth lap allowed Shakey to take the lead, and it would get worse for the McAMS Yamaha rider moments later as he was forced to retire with a technical problem.

Ellison’s retirement allowed Byrne to edge away at the front, with Josh Brookes and Jason O’Halloran battling it out for second spot. The Australians battled hard but it was Brookes who managed to find a way through into second place – setting his sights on the race leader.

Byrne would be too strong however and Brookes had to settle for second. Behind the front two, O’Halloran withstood pressure from Haslam to claim the final podium spot.

Linfoot would cross the line in fifth, with Knockhill race winner Jake Dixon getting the better of Peter Hickman to take sixth.

Speaking about race one, Byrne said: “I didn’t make the greatest of starts in race one but stayed safe in the first few laps and we’d worked hard over the weekend to make sure we were fast throughout the race. I took my time to get to the front and then at half race distance pushed on a bit and it all panned out perfectly.”

The 40-year-old started race two from pole but would lose the lead once again at the start of the race, with Brookes taking the hole-shot into Riches. Ellison would slot into second, with Byrne settling into third.

The front-three were pushing each other hard but they had to be wary of the threat behind them, with John Hopkins and O’Halloran both on their tails.

Byrne would get the better of Ellison on the ninth lap and set his sights firmly on Brookes. Ellison tried his best to fight back but he unfortunately crashed out of the race at Murrays.

Byrne continued to close down the race leader and would make his move on lap 14, on the run down to Riches.

Behind the leading pair, O’Halloran would make a similar move on Hopkins during their intense battle for the final podium position.

Brookes put in an almighty effort to try and grab the lead back from Byrne but it was not to be and the Aussie had to settle for second once more.

O’Halloran would pick up Honda Racing’s first double-podium of the season, with Dixon stealing fourth spot away from Hopkins on the final lap.

On race two, Byrne commented: “Race two was definitely tougher as Josh (Brookes) was setting a good pace. He put the hammer down around half race distance so I made my move and obliterated my own lap record to grab the lead soon after.

“The Be Wiser Ducati team did a great job all weekend and after only getting a couple of thirds at Knockhill and with Glenn getting injured, it’s good to put the smiles back on everyone’s faces.”

Byrne’s double means that he is now second in the championship standings, only seven points behind series leader Luke Mossey. Hickman also now finds himself in that all important sixth spot – the final Showdown position.

The sixth round of the 2017 MCE British Superbike Championship takes place at Brands Hatch on July 21 – 23.