Frustration for Byrne in Oulton Park opener


It was a disappointing opening race of the weekend at Oulton Park for Shane Byrne, with the championship leader ending the race down in ninth.

The day had started excellently for the four-time champion as he put his Be Wiser Ducati on pole position thanks to the first-ever sub 1m 45s lap at the Cheshire circuit.

Byrne slotted into second place in the early stages of the race, behind James Ellison, before main championship rival Leon Haslam relegated him to third on lap seven.

The top three would remain close for most of the race but a incident for Shakey on lap 15 would end his chances of a podium finish.

Byrne suffered from a slide in the middle of Hizzy’s Chicane and ran off track, falling back to ninth.

Afterwards Byrne commented: “I’ve been really looking forward to this round and to lap two seconds quicker in qualifying than what we did here at the meeting back in May shows how far we’ve come as a team. The bike was working really well but we tried something different in the race to what we had in practice and qualifying and it didn’t quite work.

“We know what we need to do and whilst I’m as gutted as everyone else in the team, we get two more goes tomorrow and I’m certainly planning on turning everything around. I’ve lost some Podium Points but it’s far from a disaster as we stayed upright and have some good data to look at.”

There was further disappointment for the team as Glenn Irwin’s race came to a premature end following a slow start to proceedings. Falling down to 15th at the start of the race, Irwin was beginning to make ground on his rivals before he fell at Lodge on lap three.

Tomorrow’s races at Oulton Park are scheduled to take place at 13:35 and 16:35.