Championship leader Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne saw his title lead shrink considerably today after finishing ninth in the opening MCE British Superbike race at Oulton Park.
The Be Wiser Ducati rider ran off the track at Knickerbrook chicane after almost high-siding his machine to end his hopes of an eighth 2016 win.
Byrne was lying in third position behind JG Speedfit Kawasaki riders Leon Haslam and James Ellison and lost the rear end of the bike whilst dicing for the lead.
The difference at the top of the championship is now just three points and seven podium credits - however Byrne remains positive for tomorrow’s two races.
The bike proved to be blisteringly fast in qualifying, setting a new outright two-wheeled lap record around the circuit, however the rear proved too stiff for the race.
Speaking to MCN about the problem, Byrne said: “The bike was set up a little bit too stiff and it's something we need to address for the races tomorrow. There were plenty of places where we were strong, but the areas I was strong those two [Haslam and Ellison] weren't so strong so I would gain ground and then they'd shoot away again!
"I'm obviously disappointed because we put in a lot of work and we'd changed the bike for qualifying and if I'm honest, for the first ten laps it was really good but then after that it started to get a bit more difficult and I had a few moments with one of those unfortunately putting me off the track.
"The great thing is it's something really easy to fix for tomorrow as at the moment the bike is set up for one super-fast lap and while that seems to work for the first ten laps, it wasn't so good towards the end of the race."
Starting the second race tomorrow from a provisional fourth place on the grid, Byrne is confident that he can be competitive when the flag drops.
“Tomorrow’s another day. We’ll learn from today and go forward for tomorrow.”
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