Shane 'Shakey' Byrne will have positive memories to draw on when he takes the Brands Hatch circuit for this weekend's opening BSB meeting. The Londoner will lead the new Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki team and will be looking to increase his two-race winning streak on the Kent circuit, although those were on the GP loop.
“I won my first race at Brands Hatch and it holds a lot of good memories for me so I intend to start where I left off last year and that’s by winning”, he said. “It’s great to be back with Birdy and the boys and the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki ZX-10R should be very competitive. We have made good progress in the tests so now it’s time to get down to the proper action over Easter.”
Easter weekend will be emotional for teammate Stuart Easton who will race competitively for the first time in 11 months. The Scotsman suffered multiple injuries at the North West 200 and admits he will have a few butterflies in his stomach when he first takes to the track.
“Every time I’ve sat on the bike in testing, we have made progress and although it’s been hard work since my accident, I’m now bike fit, I just have to get race fit and where better place to do that than at Brands Hatch this weekend. The team have kept their promise of providing me with a bike when I was in hospital and here we are but I’ll admit to being a little nervous.”
Team Owner Paul Bird expects both riders to perform well this weekend but has also spared a thought for his former SBK rider who has suffered serious injuries in testing this week.
“The boys have worked hard over winter in getting the bikes ready and we are ready to go. We are all here for one reason and that’s to win the title so hopefully we can make a good start at Brands Hatch this weekend. I’m counting on Shakey and Stuart, as well as Keith (Farmer) on the Superstocker, to make a lasting impression from the start. More importantly, mine and the team’s thoughts are with Joan Lascorz who was seriously injured at Imola on Monday, our prayers are with him right now.”