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Apr 3, 2013

Shane Byrne Hoping Consistency Will Offset Lack Of Pre-Season Testing At British Superbike Season-Opener

Byrne To Get Title Defence Underway At Brands Hatch

Reigning MCE Insurance British Superbike Champion Shane Byrne heads for his local Brands Hatch circuit this weekend with the sole aim of getting his title defence off to the best possible start.

Aboard the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki ZX-10R, it was at his local Kent track last October that Shakey clinched his and the PBM team's third MCE BSB crown amidst jubilant scenes after scoring another amazing hat-trick to take his tally to eight wins for the season.

For the first time ever in his career, 36-year-old Byrne, from Sittingbourne, has remained with his team from the previous year and with continued backing from Rapid Solicitors and additional support from, he is hoping to repeat last year's success which added to his 2003 title, with PBM, and the one he won in 2008.

But with very little pre-season testing because of the weather, and another very strong grid assembled for the 12-round series, Shakey knows he has his work cut out but is confident of adding to his three wins around the tight and twisty 1.2-mile Indy circuit.

Joining Byrne is the reigning National Superstock 1000 champion Keith Farmer who made it a double success for Paul Bird's Penrith-based team last year and has been rewarded with a move to the premier MCE BSB class.

The 25-year-old Ulsterman from Clogher in County Tyrone made an impressive MCE BSB debut last season when he stood in for the injured Stuart Easton at Oulton Park and has shown excellent pace in the limited pre-season testing which has taken place.
Farmer, the 2011 National Superstock 600 champion, won the National Superstock 1000 race at Brands Hatch Indy last year in the damp conditions so will be looking for a good result with the aim of securing a top six Showdown place as the season progresses.

PBM, Britain's most expansive and diverse motorsport team, are also competing in the MotoGP World Championship with Ulsterman Michael Laverty and Colombian Yonny Hernandez. Both riders are contesting the Claiming Rules Teams (CRT) series where Hernandez will compete on the team's updated-specification Aprilia ART and Laverty will be aboard the revolutionary brand new PBM-chassised Aprilia for his debut season which starts in Qatar this weekend also.

Shane Byrne: "For the first time ever in my career I've stayed with my team from the year before and this year especially, we have proved the benefit of that consistency given the lack of testing. It's my same team, the same bike and even the same sponsors as last year but we could have done with some more testing. I'd be lying if I said we were 100% ready to go racing but we'll do what we need to in practice at Brands Hatch and we will be ready to race on Sunday. One thing's for sure, we are much better prepared than some teams and I'm really looking forward to going racing again."

Keith Farmer: "I am looking forward to the first meeting at Brands Hatch just to get my teeth into it. I am with my existing team so am just aiming a steady first round with a couple of solid finishes and to learn the bike and set up. The plan is after Brands Hatch to chip away and gradually get faster over the next couple of rounds as this is a big learning curve for me. I have a good team-mate to learn from and to point me in the right direction so I am very excited for this season."

Paul Bird, Team Owner: "We said we weren't coming back to BSB to finish second last year and we didn't so now our focus is on retaining our title. To keep hold of both Shakey and Keith was our priority and we aim to give them the best package to do the business on which is the Kawasaki ZX-10R. This is an historic new chapter for us and a tenth British title would be perfect for the team and the sponsors both old and new, which I'm pleased to welcome. The boys have worked hard over winter in getting the bikes ready and despite the lack of testing, we are ready to go."

More information including bike, team and rider profiles, race calendar etc can be found at The official website of the 2013 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship is at