The Be Wiser Ducati team had an excellent weekend at Brands Hatch with Shane Byrne taking victory in both MCE British Superbike races.
Byrne fought back from difficult starts in both races and now has a healthy 25-point lead in the championship over Leon Haslam.
The four-time champion fell back to fifth from his front-row start in race one but a safety car period allowed him to catch the riders in front of him.
Once the race re-started he was able to take full advantage and utilised his pace on the factory-backed Ducati Panigale R to take victory away from Tommy Bridewell.
On race one, Byrne said: “I completely fluffed the start in the first race and it gave me plenty of work to do. It was my fault and it made me change my race strategy slightly but after the safety car period, I was lying in fourth and set about the three riders in front of me.
“I had a good rhythm and grabbed the lead with a few laps to go so concentrated on hitting all my apexes to get the job done.”
It was a similar story in race two of the day as Byrne fell back down to ninth place by the end of the first lap. Things got worse for Shakey over the next few laps and he found himself down in 11th on lap five.
From that moment on, though, he steadily moved forward and with six laps to go, he moved into third. Just as he made his move the safety car was released once again after oil was left on the circuit.
Byrne made the perfect restart and took advantage of a battle between Jason O’Halloran and Haslam, with the pair slowing each other down. Byrne took second away from O’Halloran at Paddock Hill Bend and took the lead for the first time at Druids Hairpin.
Commenting on race two Byrne said: “It was a similar story in race two in terms of my start but I felt that if I could stay calm, there was still plenty of time for me to fight my way through. After the safety car went in, I decided to make my move straightaway, thinking there was only a couple of laps left so it threw me a bit when my pit board said there were still four laps to go!
“I thought I may have showed my hand too early but it all worked out well. We didn’t quite hit the nail on the head this weekend so to come away with a double shows just how far we’ve come and a massive thank you to everyone in the team for all their work, a double victory is an excellent feeling.”
On the other side of the Be Wiser Ducati garage, Glenn Irwin once again showed his potential with two strong performances – despite crashing out of race one whilst battling towards the front of the pack.
Irwin showed great pace in race two and was chasing down O’Halloran for the lead at one stage after battling through the pack. The series rookie would eventually end up finishing in fourth place.
A satisfied Irwin said: “I’ve had strong pace all weekend but with the track temperature going up a bit, I didn’t quite have the feeling I wanted in race one and instead of easing my pace a bit and bringing the bike home for a finish, I made a mistake and crashed out.
“The team did a great job in getting the bike ready for race two and it feels really good to come back in with a good result. I thought I might lead at one stage but after the safety car the other riders had a bit more grip and I couldn’t go with them. It’s another strong result and to be battling with the likes of Shakey, Leon and Jason is a real honour.”
His fourth place finish leaves Irwin 12th in the championship on 68 points, which means he still has an outside chance of making the Showdown if his current form continues.