Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne remains upbeat ahead of tomorrow’s opening MCE British Superbike race at Oulton Park despite the uphill challenge he faces starting from the sixth row of the grid after crashing out of qualifying.
The four-time champion led the way after Q1 but dramatically crashed out of the second session, losing the front end at Hizzy’s chicane less than half a lap after saving a front end lock up at the final turn.
Now set to start the race from 18th on the grid, Byrne remains positive he can challenge for the podium tomorrow.
“It’s obviously been a frustrating day but the good thing is I really like riding the bike in those conditions,” he told MCN at Oulton.
“I did quite a fast out lap but locked the front into the final corner. Luckily I managed to save it and just get it stopped and ran on but it was close. I’d set about a fast build up lap ready for my flier and got to Hizzy’s and unfortunately it let go as I started to wind on the throttle. I’m not hurt and the bike wasn’t too badly damaged but now I start P18 which isn’t ideal.
“I’m here to give it 110% tomorrow and I’m right up for it so wet or dry we’ll give it our best. Ultimately I want to be on pole and go on to win and I’m not interested in anything other than that.”
Byrne has been consistently fast in wet conditions this weekend but in yesterday’s only dry session the Be Wiser Ducati rider languished in 15th place, something he puts down in part to his opponents testing here the week before while his team opted to put the laps in at Knockhill.
“It will be a tricky race tomorrow if it’s dry but at the same time I’m not here to finish second. We’ll work with what we’ve got and try and at least pull a podium out of the bag. Wet or dry, I’m not overly bothered as I’m just enjoying riding the bike.”