Shane Byrne has expressed his delight after picking up his first win of the season at the Brands Hatch Indy circuit.
The four-time champion fought back from a difficult first race, only managing ninth position, to earn his seventh victory overall at the Kent track. It was the first time the Paul Bird Motorsport team had won using Ducati machinery, and it was the first Ducati win in the championship since 2010.
Despite Byrne’s struggles in race one, the Londoner was determined to find a result in the second race of the day. The 39-year-old had an average start to the race but following a safety car period, he soon began for move his way through the field.
Byrne soon found himself battling for the podiums places – putting in some strong moves on Luke Mossey and Leon Haslam going through Clearways and McLaren. Moments later ‘Shakey’ took the lead away from Richard Cooper and pulled away to take the victory.
A delighted Byrne said: “It’s great to get the first win of the season and I’m sure it’s the start of some really good time for us. The bike’s proving hard to get off the line at the moment and the first race was dreadful, whilst the second one was average and that gave me a better change.
“In race two, I was able to get with the leading group and with two laps to go, I managed to get by Richard by running up the inside at Clearways where I was able to get the power down more effectively and held on for a victory. We have our first batch of upgrades coming in the next few weeks, so we’re in a good place for the next round.”
Byrne’s fightback in race two means that he leaves Brands Hatch just three points behind championship leader, Haslam. With the new upgrades on there way it Byrne and the team are confident that they can now progress and take more victories.
Team owner, Paul Bird said: “I think today is the start of a new beginning for us and we’ve shown just how good the combination of rider and bike can be. Obviously getting of the line caused a few problems for both riders but we should have that sorted next time out and Shakey managed the tyres excellently in race two.
“The lap times dropped in race two and it was a great win for us. Hopefully, it’s the first of many this season.”
The BSB Championship heads to Scotland next for round four of the season at Knockhill, with practice getting underway on Friday, June 24.