Shane Byrne and Glenn Irwin both head to Donington Park this weekend looking to bounce back from the disappointment of last weekend.
Byrne entered Oulton Park top of the standings and full of confidence heading into the final pre-Showdown round of the championship.
The four-time champion’s weekend started brightly as he set the quickest ever lap-time around the Cheshire circuit to take pole. A ninth place finish, followed by a crash in race two and a fifth place in race three would turn the championship on its head.
Leon Haslam took a hat-trick of victories to take the championship lead by three points as we enter the first round of the Showdown.
Looking to fight back, Byrne said: “I really looked forward to the last round at Oulton Park to check our progress since we were there in May, I set the fastest ever two-wheeled lap there last weekend but then had three terrible races.
“However, it showed the progress we’ve made with the Ducati, and at the pre-season test at Donington Park, I was very fast and if we show the same amount of progression as in recent rounds, then we should be really strong. Now it gets real, it’s the Showdown, I want a fifth title and have to give my all to achieve it starting this weekend.”
Last weekend also proved to be difficult for Irwin, who missed out on his slim chance of making the top six. The Ulsterman crashed in race one before finishing ninth in the second race of the weekend.
Any chance of a positive result in the final race was brought to an end early on when Irwin was given a ride-through penalty for a jump start.
Hoping for improvement at Donington, Irwin said: “Oulton Park wasn’t a good weekend in terms of championship position for me, but even with the couple of crashes, and beating myself up, our pace wasn’t too bad. I’m looking forward to regrouping this weekend at a track where the bike felt good earlier in the year when we tested at Donington Park.
“I’m hoping we can be in a position to challenge for a podium again and if I can, it may help take some Podium Points off Shakey’s rivals.”
The pre-season test at Donington Park saw Byrne top one of the sessions to end up second overall and also, on his first ride on the bike in the UK, Irwin was inside the top ten.