Oulton Park British Superbikes: Shane Byrne takes first Airwaves Ducati double win but under red flag conditions
Shane Byrne completed a first double race win for Airwaves Ducati, but finished the second race under the red flags after a huge crash involving Cal Crutchlow whilst one of the cup riders was also left by the side of the track in another incident.
Byrne was a lucky man, having lost his early strong place of fifth by going the wrong way at a hairpin, he was a man on a mission to get back to the front.
James Ellison took second place for Hydrex Bike Animal Honda while Leon Camier rounded off the podium with his second third place of the day.
Cal Crutchlow’s initial lead was soon taken by Tom Sykes on the Rizla Suzuki while Leon Haslam slotted into third.
Shane Byrne missed a hairpin on lap two and fell from fifth to 13th on his Airwaves Ducati and James Ellison was the surprise fastest man on lap two on a rapidly drying track as he recorded a 1:37.843.
The two HM Plant Honda boys were tussling for places and Leon Haslam managed to pass Crutchlow on lap four. And Tom Sykes was next on Haslam’s list to overtake and made a move on lap six, but he ran wide at the next corner and was back to second.
Cal Crutchlow, determined not to repeat his race one mistake, recorded the fastest lap of 1:37,121 on lap six. Also on a charge was Shakey Byrne, desperately trying to get back some of those lost places and by lap eight he was up to fifth which also saw him pass his team-mate Leon Camier. Byrne had recorded the fastest lap on lap eight with a 1:36.402 while the front three were also packing up with less than half a second between them.
On lap 10 Airwaves Ducati’s championship leader Shane Byrne was up to fourth having passed James Ellison on the Hydrex Bike Animal Honda.
Lap 11 saw another highly emotional moment between Tom Sykes and Leon Haslam at Hizzy’s, not so dissimilar to Thruxton. The man to benefit was Cal Crutchlow as he took the lead with Haslam running off track and coming back on in fifth place.
But Crutchlow must have thought this wasn’t his day as the charging Byrne took his chance to almost immediately grab the lead. And another rider with the gods against him was Yamaha’s Karl Harris with the injured rider crashing off again on lap 13 at Druids.
And Crutchlow’s day got no better as he crashed off at speed looking in some discomfort and was left lying in the gravel trap at Druids for some time to bring out the red flags. Also winded having crashed off was cup rider Steve Mercer while Dean Ellison was taken to the circuit medical centre unconscious - although it was later announced that he was not badly hurt and regained consciousness.
The stewards decided that as some riders had passed the start finish straight to begin lap 14 and therefore it was past the two thirds race distance that they could declare Shane Byrne the winner with James Ellison second and Leon Camier third.
After the race Shane Byrne said: "Colin (Airwaves Ducati team manager Colin Wright) was just saying how good that was, I was just frustrated to make the mistake I did.
"The start is not my strongest point but I got a decent run. I was staying really consistent and I thought I have got a chance but I was disappointed it got stopped as I was into a rhythm.
"Colin Wright and airwaves ducati pay me to be here and try and win the championship. We are sure to have some bad luck but I'm delighted to take the team's first double win."
Oulton Park British Superbikes race two top ten results:
1 Shane Byrne Airwaves Ducati
2 James Ellison Hydrex Bike Animal Honda
3 Leon Camier Airwaves Ducati
4 Leon Haslam HM Plant Honda
5 Cal Crutchlow HM Plant Honda
6 Michael Laverty Relentless Suzuki
7 Stuart Easton MSS Discovery Kawasaki
8 Michael Rutter North West 200 Ducati
9 Simon Andrews Jentin Racing Yamaha
10 Scott Smart Hawk Kawasaki