Apr 6, 2012
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Shane "Shakey" Byrne (67) in action.
MCE INSURANCE BRITISH SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP
Round 1 Brands Hatch Indy Circuit 6/7/8/9 April
BYRNE TOPS TIMES BUT HILL AND RIVALS IN CLOSE CONTENTION
Final test session one:
1: Graeme Gowland (Team WFR Honda) 46.192s
2: Alex Lowes (Team WFR Honda) +0.095s
3: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki ) +0.163s
4: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +0.255s
5: Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) +0.317s
6: Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.361s
Final test session two:
1: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 45.954s
2: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +0.164s
3: Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) +0.166s
4: Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) +0.170s
5: Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.282s
6: Ian Lowry (Padgetts Honda) +0.302s
Shane Byrne underlined his intention to kick this year's MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch with a winning performance as he scorched to the top of the final testing leaderboard at near lap record equalling pace.
The former two times winner of the country's premier title is reunited with Cumbrian businessman Paul Bird's team, riding in Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki colours, and Byrne put in a series of consistent lap around his home circuit which hosts the Easter Monday opening races.
Byrne's best lap came in a time of 45.954secs towards the end of the afternoon session and he enthused: "It's great to be back with Birdy and the boys. We have made good progress, made a few changes between session and the balance of the bike is better so now it's time to get down to the proper action. I won my first ever race at Brands Hatch and it holds a lot of good memories for me so I intend to start where I left off last year and that's by winning."
Aussie Josh Brookes, riding for the Tyco Suzuki team, ran within 0.164secs off Byrne, but just a split second ahead of Michael Laverty riding for Samsung Honda and reigning champion Tommy Hill who worked hard across the day, steadily improving his lap times aboard the Swan Yamaha, ending with a best lap of 46.124secs in fourth. Like Byrne, Hill has good memories of the circuit, having sealed his title there, by just 0.006secs, in the final race of last season.
Hill explained: "We had a number of issues during the morning session but the team worked hard for me to get rid of the gremlins and now we are back where we should be and there is more to come."
Graeme Gowland set the fifth best time of the day, and that despite a heavy tumble in the closing seconds of the morning session which severely damaged his WFR Honda. Gowland, who had topped the first session with a time of 46.192secs escaped with a bruising but was unable to take part in the second test as his team worked to repair his machine ready for free practice tomorrow.
Flying Scot Stuart Easton, making a racing return after injury on the second Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki, was also in contention, lapping in 46.236secs ahead of Ian Lowry on the Padgetts Honda and WFR Honda's Alex Lowes. Alistair Seeley, graduating into the top class after winning last year's British Supersport crown, set the ninth fastest time on the day ahead of James Westmoreland on the third WFR Honda.
Former World Superbike contender Noriyuki Haga, riding the Indy circuit for the first time, ran 15th fastest on his Swan Yamaha, in a hectic session in which the top 18 riders ran within a second of Byrne's pace.
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More, from another press release issued by MotorSport Vision:
MCE BRITISH SUPERBIKES ANNOUNCE OFFICIAL SUPPLIER PARTNERSHIP WITH LEADING WORKWEAR MANUFACTURER DICKIES
MCE British Superbike Championship rights holder MotorSport Vision is pleased to announce the formation of an official supplier partnership with Williamson-Dickie Europe Limited, one of the foremost manufacturers and suppliers of PPE and workwear to trade and industry.
The deal will see the 700-strong Racesafe Marshals Association who support every MCE British Superbike Championship event equipped with new orange high visibility safety clothing supplied by Dickies.
Additionally race fans attending MCE BSB events will be able to purchase a range of Dickies clothing and products from an onsite retail facility operated by Scott Racing.
"Dickies is proud to be an Official Supplier to the MCE British Superbike Championship. The series is undoubtedly the finest National motorbike racing championship in the world and we are very excited about being part of it," explained Maurice Morton, Sales and Marketing Director, Willamson-Dickie Europe. "Our partnership with the series is one of a number of initiatives we are undertaking to establish Dickies as a significant clothing brand in the motorcycling sector."
MCE British Superbike Championship Series Director Stuart Higgs said: "I'm delighted to welcome Dickies as a new partner to the Championship. This innovative association will see our Racesafe Marshals, without whom there would be no racing, protected by Dickies workwear which is synonymous with quality the world over. A racetrack is a very challenging environment so the combination of the protection and presentation is highly important."
All rounds of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship will be broadcast on British Eurosport and ITV4.
The opening round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship takes place at Brands Hatch on Easter weekend (6-9 April). For more information visit
More, from a press release issued by Swan Yamaha:
SWAN YAMAHA GET SEASON UNDERWAY AT BRANDS HATCH
The Swan Yamaha team got their 2012 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship underway at Brands Hatch today (Friday) as Tommy Hill prepared to kick off his title defence on Easter Monday alongside new team-mate Noriyuki Haga.
In the opening test session of the day the team encountered some problems with fuelling issue, but they worked hard ahead of the afternoon test and Hill was able to run at the top of the times before ending the session in fourth place, but only a split second down on the fastest lap of the day. Haga focused on testing different engines and also spent the early part of the day learning the final section of the 1.2-mile Indy circuit, which he hadn't previously ridden in the World Championship. The team are now feeling positive ahead of tomorrow's free practice sessions at the Kent circuit.
Hill said: "We had issues this morning in the first session but the Swan Yamaha team have been working hard to resolve it as we had some of the gremlins come back with the fuelling. The team's efforts paid off though as the bike felt better this afternoon and I am fairly happy. We are a day down here as most of the other teams have tested at Brands Hatch already but I am making headway and feeling ready for tomorrow when we get the practice sessions underway."
Haga said: "I know Brands Hatch but I have not ridden the last part so to begin with I was learning that; it isn't easy to compare settings as most of this circuit I know quite well, but in testing they were all new to me. We have been trying to solve a few problems and little by little we have been getting better. We have made a lot of changes today and we also tested different engines and now I know which one will be better for me. Tomorrow we will make some changes to the suspension and then we will see what is possible before qualifying."
Team Manager Gary Ekerold concluded: "The first session was difficult for both riders as they both suffered some issue with the fuelling; we have changed systems to Motec over the winter and now we have found a way forward. Tommy's performance in the second test session shows we have removed some of the gremlins he was having earlier in the day and hopefully we can do the same on Noriyuki's side of the garage tomorrow. Today was another test day for us in our schedule; the weekend starts for the Swan Yamaha team with practice tomorrow."
For more information visit