Consistent Byrne keeps championship lead at Assen


Shane Byrne will head into the final round of the 2016 MCE British Superbike Championship with a 17 point lead after two second place finishes at Assen.

The Be Wiser Ducati man finished second to championship rival Leon Haslam in both races after taking a comfortable pole position on Saturday afternoon.

The opening race of the day saw Byrne and Haslam break away from the rest of the of pack and a battle ensued between the two series veterans.

Despite holding the lead for the majority of the race, Byrne was undone at the first corner of the final lap. The 39-year-old tried his very best to re-take the lead and ended up losing out by just +0.001s.

On race one, Byrne commented: “I was happy enough with second in the first race especially as we proved we’re as fast on the harder SC1 tyre as we are the SC0. Leon’s made no secret of the fact that he prefers the SC1 but we raced with him all the way and only lost by a hundredth of a second.

“There were some points on the track where we were strong and some where we weren’t as strong so we looked at rectifying that for race two although it was a bit of a surprise to be in sixth and on the second row.”

A poor start in race two saw Byrne drop down to 12th at the end of the opening lap. By half race distance, he’d moved up to seventh but overtaking manoeuvres were hard to find and it was only in the final third of the race that he started to challenge for the podium.

Byrne would end the race in second after getting the better of   on the penultimate lap of the race.

Afterwards he said: “I made a really bad start which made it hard work from the word go. I got boxed in and was way back whilst it also took me what seemed like ages to get by Richard Cooper. I struggled to find a way by but once I did I got through behind Leon although he was riding really well, controlling the race from the front.

“I needed to finish second, at least, which I did and we’ll keep our heads down and look to get back to race winning form at Brands Hatch.”

The final round of the 2016 season takes place on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit and is due to get underway on Friday, October 14.