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Aug 19, 2017

British Superbike: Shane Byrne Struggles But Still Qualifies On Pole Position At Cadwell Park

Shane Byrne (67). Photo courtesy of MotorSport Vision Racing.

Shakey steals pole from Hickman after intense Datatag Qualifying from Cadwell Park

Shane 'Shakey' Byrne will start from pole position in the opening MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship race at Cadwell Park tomorrow (Sunday) after snatching pole position by just 0.081s from local contender Peter Hickman with Leon Haslam completing the front row.

The final stage of Q2 was a close fought affair as the battle for the top nine places, with Byrne in the drop zone in ninth place until his final lap. He got pushed to tenth in the final seconds by an improving Jason O'Halloran, but his last run was enough and he made it through to Q3. Byrne’s elevation knocked Josh Brookes outside of the top nine and he starts tenth for race one on the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha.

A frantic Q3 followed and as the riders hustled for positions, Hickman initially took the top spot ass Byrne then instantly moved ahead. It was a disastrous Q3 for Christian Iddon as he had to limp back to the pitlane after the chain came off the Tyco BMW; the team got him back out on circuit in time for one flying lap of the Lincolnshire circuit but his time, 0.883s adrift of Byrne’s put him ninth on the grid for tomorrow’s opening race.

Haslam was climbing the order meanwhile and the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider stormed into third place to complete the front row, just 0.193s ahead of Jake Dixon on the RAF Reserves Kawasaki with O’Halloran and Lee Jackson completing row two to give Smiths Racing BMW their best qualifying performance.

Dan Linfoot starts seventh on the second of the Honda Racing Fireblades after edging ahead of Andy Reid as the Tyco BMW rider qualified for the final stage of Datatag Qualifying for the first time and ended in eighth place.

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Cadwell Park, Datatag Qualifying:

1.Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 1m:26.265s

2.Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +0.081s

3.Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.115s

4.Jake Dixon (RAF Reserves Kawasaki) +0.193s

5.Jason O'Halloran (Honda Racing) +0.210s

6.Lee Jackson (Smiths Racing BMW) +0.234s

7.Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +0.422s

8.Andy Reid (Tyco BMW) +0.836s

9.Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +0.883s

For more information visit

Shane 'Shakey' Byrne

Be Wiser Ducati

"It’s really hard to say you’re struggling when you’re fastest! I think quite a few riders are struggling here this weekend. We changed the head angle between Q1 and Q2 - that’s something we’d never usually do unless you were at the start of a session or a test day – that’s how much we’re looking for feeling but even that didn’t work.

"My initial laps in Q2 weren’t that fast and we nearly got knocked out as we were making another little change before we put in the lap to get into Q3.

"I feel like a bit of a passenger on an Italian beast that doesn’t speak English! Cadwell Park isn’t the most forgiving of places at the best of times, so when you’re sat on top of something that you can’t talk to or make it do what you want, it’s frustrating.

"We’ll see how the races go. Starting from the front row is the best place to be, I’ll have to try my hardest to get a good start. Our pace is decent enough but I wish we could get a little bit of feeling or confidence from the front of the bike to be able to push to the next level."

More, from a press release issued by Be Wiser Ducati:

Pole Position For Shakey At Cadwell

Shane Byrne and the Be Wiser Ducati team will line up in pole position for tomorrow’s opening MCE British Superbike Championship race at Cadwell Park after unofficially breaking the lap record during today’s qualifying session meaning the 54th pole of the five-times champion’s career.

Riding the factory-backed Be Wiser Ducati Panigale R at round eight of the series, the 40-year-old Londoner was quick out of the traps, setting the fastest time during yesterday afternoon’s free practice session despite a fall at the bottom of the Mountain. He went quicker still this morning, dipping below the lap record which put him in confident mood going into this afternoon’s Datatag Extreme Qualifying session.

The reigning champion comfortably topped the timesheets in Q1 and went four tenths of a second quicker around the 2.18-mile Lincolnshire venue in Q2. However, despite still searching for the ideal set-up, he saved the best until last and his lap of 1m 26.265s not only gave him pole position, it was also well inside Leon Haslam’s circuit lap record of 1m 26.590s.

Team-mate Glenn Irwin’s weekend started strongly when he posted the second fastest time in the opening practice session but he wasn’t able to get close to that time in the remaining sessions, subsequently ending up with the 11th fastest time heading into qualifying.

The Carrickfergus rider successfully made it through Q1 and although he went two-tenths of a second quicker in Q2, he missed out on advancing to Q3 with his time of 1m 27.307s meaning he’ll line up for the first 18-lap race in 16th and on the sixth row of the grid.

Shane Byrne: “I’m obviously happy with pole position and the front row – the latter is always our aim – but it’s been a bit of a frustrating weekend as the bike hasn’t worked like it did when we tested here a few weeks ago. Back then the bike was on rails and the lap times came fairly easy but it’s been the opposite this weekend and the bike’s felt totally different. We’ve been changing things all the time, even in the middle of qualifying, but it still feels like the bike’s controlling me rather than the other way round. The whole PBM team have been working really hard as always so we’ll do some more homework tonight and hopefully have two strong races tomorrow.”

Glenn Irwin: "I'm not quite where I want to be although we're not a million miles off either. I'm OK for the majority of the circuit but on the left handers, I'm still struggling with my shoulder injury to be honest. Overall though, I'm feeling positive for tomorrow so we'll just have to wait and see."

Phil Borley, Technical Director: "Shakey's been quick all weekend in the dry conditions and put together a great qualifying lap which we're all really happy with. We've still a bit of work to do to make him more comfortable on the bike but we'll be looking for a win or two tomorrow. Glenn's been finding it more difficult with his injury and his shoulder still hasn't recovered as much as he'd like. He's feeling it more in his elbow here through the left handers so it's disppointing for him to be in 16th. We'll have to see how he gets on in the races tomorrow but it will be hard work over a full race distance. If he gets comfortable, hopefully he'll get some points."

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