Shane Byrne has expressed his delight at leading the MCE British Superbike Championship, despite not being at the ‘level that the team wanted to be at’ over the weekend.
Byrne enjoyed two, second place finishes at Silverstone on Sunday. The Be Wiser Ducati rider could not match the pace of Michael Laverty in race one, before narrowly losing out to Peter Hickman in race two.
Both races saw Byrne gradually make his way towards the front of the back after difficult starts. Midway through the final lap of the second race, Byrne was all over the back of Hickman.
After a mistake by the JG Speedfit Kawasaki man Byrne made his move at Luffield – only to lose out going around the final corner.
Looking back over the races, Byrne said: “It was a difficult first race as although we had a plan, you never quite know how it will pan out as lots of riders keep their cards close to their chest during testing. We know we’re not quite at the level we want to be but the whole PBM Be Wiser Ducati Racing Team is working hard to get to that level and we have to be pleased with finishing second first time out.
“In the second race, it was similar to the race I had with Alex Lowes in 2013 and whilst we’re perhaps trying to run before we can walk, to be leading the championship after the first round is fantastic.championship after the first round is fantastic. The bike’s brand new and I’ve a new team around me who are all working incredibly hard to get to the position we’re in.”
Byrne’s double podium means that he leads the way in the championship after round one. The four-time champion has a five-point lead over race one race-winner Laverty.
Team boss, Paul Bird said: “I was confident we’d be strong this weekend and it’s great to come away with two podiums. It’s not really the ideal circuit for us with the big, long straights, but Shakey showed the potential of the bike and to be leading the championship already is terrific for all concerned.”
The next round of the BSB Championship takes place at Oulton Park over the May Bank Holiday weekend.