Byrne fastest as BSB returns to home soil

By Simon Patterson -

British Superbikes

 01 April 2014 21:34

Shane Byrne has topped the sheets at the first BSB test of 2014 on British soil, after coming out on top of a ferocious battle with title rival Josh Brookes at the end of the final session of the day and blowing away the lap record in the process with his 1:29.5 lap.

Brookes, the fastest man for most of the day, finished it off in second place, but crucially only 0.2 seconds off the pace of the title favourite. With Byrne coming straight from three days riding at Almeria with his Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki team, Brookes, off the bike for a number of weeks, is taking a huge confidence boost from the test.

However, the real surprise package of the day was Millsport Ducati rider Kuba Smrz in third place, reunited with the Italian manufacturer he enjoyed considerable World Superbike successes with in the past, less than a second from Byrne and ahead of old challenger Chris Walker, who put in an impressive run to finish ahead of teammate James Ellison, back in tenth.

Byrne said afterwards: "It was a long session this afternoon and we did pretty much a full race distance and then had time to try one or two other things. I am really happy with the pace we have, running faster than we did in last year's race here. To be back up at that level already is good and I was not out there to finish second! I am fully motivated for the season and can't wait to get started now as we want that title back."

1 67  Shane BYRNE GBR  1:29.550
2 3  Josh BROOKES AUS 1:29.736 0.186  0.186
3 96 Jakub SMRZ CZE  1:30.330 0.780  0.594
4 9 Chris WALKER GBR 1:30.369 0.819  0.039
5 27 James WESTMORELAND GBR 1:30.701 1.151  0.332
6 46 Tommy BRIDEWELL GBR 1:30.928 1.378  0.227
7 5 Stuart EASTON GBR 1:30.976 1.426  0.048
8 21 John HOPKINS USA 1:31.150 1.600  0.174
9 23 Ryuichi KIYONARI JPN 1:31.240 1.690  0.090
10 77 James ELLISON GBR 1:31.314 1.764  0.074
11 4 Dan LINFOOT GBR  1:31.315 1.765  0.001
12 47 Richard COOPER GBR 1:31.611 2.061  0.296
13 6 Simon ANDREWS GBR 1:31.739 2.189  0.128
14 11 Michael RUTTER GBR 1:31.966 2.416  0.227
15 40 Martin JESSOPP GBR 1:31.996 2.446  0.030
16 64  Aaron ZANOTTI GBR  1:32.223 2.673
17 24  Patric MUFF SUI  1:32.246 2.696
18 12  SBK 18 Josh WATERS AUS  1:32.287 2.737
19 35 Mitchell CARR AUS  1:32.328 2.778
20 15 Ben WILSON GBR   1:32.410 2.860
21 8  Ian HUTCHINSON GBR  1:32.441 2.891
22 50  Harry HARTLEY GBR  1:32.584 3.034
23 33  Michael DUNLOP GBR  1:33.093 3.547
24 39 Lee COSTELLO GBR  1:33.710 4.160
25 43 Howie MAINWARING GBR  1:34.530 4.980
26 20 Jenny TINMOUTH GBR  1:34.845 5.299
27 10 Jon KIRKHAM GBR  1:35.509 5.959
28 45  Rhalf LO TURCO BRA  1:35.568 6.018
29 55  Peter BAKER GBR  1:36.040 6.490

Testing concludes next week at Snetterton, with the two day test on Tuesday and Wednesday free and open to the public.