Byrne takes fourth pole of the year in PBM double strike

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PBM Kawasaki riders Shane Byrne and Stuart Easton have taken a double strike at their MCE British Superbike rivals, with a one-two on the grid for tomorrow’s opening race at Knockhill.

Byrne even managed to take the pole despite crashing out of Q3 with some four minutes remaining – but, having set an ultra quick lap earlier in the session, was able to retain the number one spot.

“I’m a little bit surprised with the outcome of qualifying. We all know what we think is an achievable lap time, and I planned for the time I thought I could do in that last session. I pushed hard, but it seemed like I was sliding on every single corner exit on the last run. I did a time that was good enough for pole, and a couple more close to it – but I think the rear tyre maybe wasn’t up to the same quality as normal.

I thought ‘oh ok, I’ll run in a little hotter and be a bit more careful on the exit with the throttle,’ but trying that on my second lap I went into Clarkes like normal, released the brakes a little earlier to try and carry a bit more speed, and tucked the front tyre.

“It’s frustrating for that to happen, but at the end of the day I’m happy with the result. It’s PBM one-two, the times have been close; but I just thought we had maybe another two tenths or so there.

“I think for tomorrow we’ve worked really hard on race pace. Yesterday afternoon, my best lap time – that would have got us fairly high up today’s grid – came from the thirty third lap on the tyre. From that view, we should be cool – and with the times as close as they are, it should make for some pretty exciting racing!”

Easton took second from Josh Brookes on the Milwaukee Yamaha, with Jason O’Halloran, Ryuichi Kiyonari and James Ellison – just squeezing out Michael Laverty at the flag – on the second row.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer