Shakey Byrne gets top-flight Ducati ride

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BSB privateer champion Shane Byrne has signed for the fledgling Renegade Ducati team, where he is likely to be partnered by Steve Plater on top-spec 998s.

Byrne said: " I see this as an ideal opportunity to win some races and to be a frontrunner in the championship. After the disappointment of last year when my deal to ride for Kawasaki to fell through it’s great to get everything sorted out so soon. I just can’t wait to get going now. "

Team owner Mark Griffiths was in Italy last week to meet up with Ducati factory chiefs. Although the main purpose of the visit was to inspect the four works Testastretta machines allocated to the team and to discuss the back-up package needed to run the bikes, the Italians have also suggested a number of potential riders to join Byrne in the team.

Included in the list were last season’s NCR Ducati WSB pairing of Broc Parkes and Giovanni Bussei. However it is understood that Plater is still top of Griffiths’ list.

Griffiths said: " We take delivery of the bikes on December 17 by which time we hope to have signed both our riders. It is my intention to give them an early shakedown run before starting our testing programme in the new year. Neither Shane nor the team has much experience working with Ducatis, so we want to make sure that we are well prepared for the start of the season. "

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MCN Staff

By MCN Staff