Defending MCE British Superbike champion Shane Byrne has admitted that he was desperate to get out on track last week at the official Donington Park test, in order to judge the condition of his injuries after a testing smash only a month ago in Spain.
If I’m perfectly honest I was absolutely desperate to ride my bike at Donington, as you can probably imagine - my preseason testing had consisted of about 50 odd laps of Almeria in Spain ending upside down in the gravel trap before I even got to try a single one of 2015 components!
“However, I confess that I really wasn't to sure at all how my hand would be. I rode a road bike about a week before just to see how the hand felt and thought ‘hmmm, this is going to be tricky on a Superbike.’ But in the grand scheme of things a week is a long time for healing.”
And healed the hand has, as he was immediately able to prove by topping the day, finishing 0.2 clear of the rest of the field. And with a truck full of new components to test, the track time proved even more valuable than anticipated.
“We tried the first of our new 2015 parts, and to say that the bike was different is a bit of an understatement! But at the same time you never just bolt something on a race bike an automatically go faster; it's always a small compromise of something or another. We chipped away trying to improve and got better and better but by that point the tyres were well and truly past their best.
“I did improve though, and improved enough to end the session fastest. With the new components we need some time to get the best out of the bike - but that session was definitely a good starting point!”