The Be Wiser Ducati team endured a challenging qualifying session at Oulton Park today as wet weather hit the Cheshire circuit.
Championship leader Shane Byrne will start down in 18th position for race one tomorrow after suffering from a high-side in Q2.
Byrne had topped the timing sheets in the opening qualifying session of the day but was caught out by the slippery surface in the second session.
A slide on his very first lap in Q2 saw him running on into the gravel trap at Lodge Corner. Then midway through lap two he high-sided at Hizzy’s Chicane – damaging the handlebar in the process.
Afterwards, a disappointed Byrne said: “It was a difficult qualifying session to sum up! The bike was working fantastically well in the wet and I was feeling really confident but at the start of Q2, I was putting in a fast out lap when I locked the front going into Lodge and I nearly went down. I ran onto the gravel and thought luck was on our side so rejoined and tried to be easy on the front a bit.
“In the middle of Hizzy’s though, the bike came round on me and whilst you think you can save them, sometimes you know that’s not going to happen. I’m disappointed for the whole Be Wider Ducati team after the problem with Glenn’s bike but we have a lot of positives to take, particularly being fastest in Q1 and having a great feeling with the bike. We’ll see what tomorrow brings and hopefully our bad luck is behind us.”
As Byrne mentioned in his comments after qualifying, it was also a disappointing day for Glenn Irwin on the other side of the garage.
His qualifying session was over before it had even really began after suffering from a mechanical issue on his very first lap of the day.
His bike had a clutch issue which forced him to stop at the side of the circuit and there was no time for the team to make the necessary repairs. As a result, the 26-year-old will start tomorrow’s first race from 29th on the grid.
On his problems, Irwin said: “Having the technical problem so early in the session was really frustrating, naturally, as I’d been fast in the dry and fast in the wet so was confident of two top ten finishes on race day.
“Everything was working well but starting from the back row of the grid for race one will make that hard now so it will be damage limitation and I’ll be looking to set some good lap times to haul myself up the grid for race two. I came from 25th to 14th at Silverstone so I’ll need to be aggressive again tomorrow.”
Tomorrow’s Bank Holiday races at Oulton Park are scheduled to take place at 13:30 and 16:30.