Shakey: We've made steps in the right direction

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Shane Byrne missed out on the top ten shootout in qualifying at Cadwell Park but the reining British Superbikes champion is feeling more confident about his potential in tomorrow’s races.

The Paul Bird Motorsport rider saw his team make a host of changes today after struggling yesterday. With a new swingarm and a change of forks Byrne felt that his fortunes could be transformed. Having lacked front end feel yesterday he now felt much more confident on the bike but after qualifying 11th he said that his improvements, as illustrated by his Q1 pace, were masked by bad fortune in the Q2 session.

“I saw on my dashboard that we’d set a 27.3 and I knew that would be enough to get through but it was actually a 27.5,” said Byrne after the session. “I feel a bit disappointed and sorry for the team because in Q2 when we were using an old tyre at the end. I think that if  we’d make it into Q3 and used a new tyre I thought I could have done a low 27 or a high 26 and you start to think that we could have had challenged for the front row. I feel sorry for the team because they’ve made such an effort this weekend.”

The team spent last night trying to determine whether something had been damaged when Shakey crashed at Brands Hatch such has been his form in recent weeks. Since the crash he has struggled at Thruxton and again this weekend. With the team unable to change the chassis unless it’s been proven that it was damaged and had become a safety concern they spent this morning changing parts to try and help improve the feeling on the bike. That feeling has now started to improve and Bryne is now confident that he has a bike underneath him that in the races he’ll have confidence in.

Speaking about the feeling he’s had from the bike this weekend Byrne said:

“The problem this weekend has felt like a 23 and not a 28! I’m riding around and it’s like someone has put the track on fast forward but the laptimes in rewind. I’ve had no feeling on the bike because when we improve the feeling on turn in we lose it on corner exit and when we get a feel for corner exit we lose it on the way in. When it’s soft it’s been too soft and when it’s been hard it’s been too hard…it’s been driving me crackers!

“I’m so much happier this evening than I was yesterday or even this morning. We’ve got some data to work on that is a step in the right direction. So we’ll chip away and chip away and we’ll be there or thereabouts at the end of the race.”

Steve English

By Steve English