BSB: Byrne back on top at official test

Published: 14 April 2017

Shane Byrne was just 0.1 seconds off lap record pace as 2017 MCE British Superbike action resumed at Brands Hatch’s Indy circuit this afternoon with a 75-minute test session.

Given the official Donington test being a washout and only two dry track sessions ahead of racing at the opening round, BSB bosses offered teams an extra test session for Good Friday ahead of the normal schedule kicking off on Saturday morning.

Despite missing the opening two races at Donington with concussion, Byrne was quick out of the blocks, only relinquishing the top spot on the timesheets on a couple of occasions.

It was a busy session for the PBM team as they switched to an all-new factory-spec swing arm from Bologna mid-way through the session. Completing the switch in just over ten minutes, Byrne headed straight back out to go 0.2 seconds slower than the outright lap record of Brands Hatch.

Christian Iddon was second for Tyco BMW ahead of the JG Speedfit Kawasakis of Luke Mossey and Leon Haslam, both testing a new engine spec after brief shakedown tests earlier in the week.

James Ellison ranked fifth, also testing a new swingarm for McAMS Yamaha, while Jason O’Halloran was sixth quickest to show early signs of improvement for Honda, who struggled at the opening round.

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Podium man at Donington Glenn Irwin was seventh, ahead of MotoRapido Ducati’s John Hopkins with Dan Linfoot and Tommy Bridewell rounding out the top ten.

It was a tough session for former WSB champion Sylvain Guintoli, who had planned to test Yoshimura’s factory swing arm back to back with a modified standard option. The Frenchman languished down in 20th place, some 1.1 seconds off the pace. Bradley Ray was quickest Suzuki in 14th place after an early crash for Taylor Mackenzie on the Cooper straight.

The normal weekend schedule resumes on Saturday with the opening free practice sessions.

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