The Be Wiser Ducati duo of Shane Byrne and Glenn Irwin were both left feeling frustrated after their race results at Oulton Park, with the pair unable to challenge for victories.
Both riders had shown great pace in the early stages of the weekend, with Byrne taking pole position for the opening race of the day. The reigning champion would suffer from a slow start and ended the opening lap down in sixth.
Byrne would find some speed in the closing stages and fought past Jason O’Halloran and Bradley Ray to take the final podium position. Speaking about the first race, Byrne said:
“It’s been a difficult weekend and after practice and qualifying went so well, with fast, consistent lap times, race day proved to be hard going and I’m sitting here now wondering what went wrong. We had a problem in morning warm-up and suffered with a bit of chatter on corner entry during the first race, so it was a struggle although I managed to salvage a podium which was a solid enough result all things considered.”
The 41-year-old also had his work cut out for him in race two, after starting sixth on the grid. Byrne again found some pace late in the race, getting the better of Ray and Irwin to take fourth spot. On race two, Byrne added:
“We made some changes for race two which definitely improved the bike, but it took me a while to get by Peter and then Glenn as he was very strong on the brakes and getting back on the gas. I made inroads into Jake but couldn’t get close enough to pass so it was quite a frustrating race as I felt I had the pace to go with the leaders. I wish we could race again tomorrow but we’ll regroup for the next round.”
On the other side of the garage, Irwin made a great start to the opening race but was one of several riders to fall out of proceedings. The 28-year-old lost control of his bike at Island Bend and crashed out of third.
In race two, Irwin was able to get off to a good start and kept his teammate at bay for several laps. He would eventually lose out to Byrne and crossed the line in fifth place. Looking back over race day, a disappointed Irwin revealed that he had been suffering from arm pump in race two:
“It’s been frustrating today and after being fast here in testing and in qualifying, the potential was high, and I felt sure we’d be contesting the podiums. In race one, I was just sitting there behind the front two and could see they were using more rubber than me, but the crash came out of nowhere and I’m mystified as to what happened.
“It made me ride tense for the second race and not at all in my usual rhythm. I suffered with bad arm pump due to riding tense so fifth isn’t too bad from what was a pretty poor race. The weekend promised so much but we’re still in the top six with a good buffer to the riders behind us, so I’ll look forward to the North West 200 where I’ll be looking to be back on the top step once more.”
The Bennetts British Superbike Championship now takes a six-week break, with Irwin heading to Northern Island for the North West 200 road racing event.