BSB: Byrne not taking title lead for granted

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Shane Byrne heads in to this weekend’s penultimate round of the 2016 MCE British Superbike Championship with a 27-point advantage over title rival Leon Haslam, but the four-time British champ is keen not to rest on his laurels. 

The very nature of BSB’s Showdown system is to up the pressure in order to develop twists and turns as the top six riders are mathematically able to fight for the crown, as Haslam found out last time out at Donington as an unforced error saw him crash out of the fight for the lead in the second race.

Having fought for the BSB title each year since rejoining the series in 2011, Shane Byrne knows all too well he can’t get carried away despite having more than a race win’s worth of points back to Haslam with five races remaining. 

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“You can take nothing for granted in BSB,” he told MCN ahead of heading out cycling with wife Petra. “I’ve been to Assen with a 27-point lead before, crashed in the race while my rival won and seen it shrink to 2 points.

“I had a bad weekend at Oulton and a good weekend at Donington while it’s the reverse for Leon, it is what it is. We both need to go to Assen with exactly the same mind-set, looking to beat each other and hopefully there will be some really hard but fair races. There’s no way whatsoever we can back off in any way shape or form just because we have a bit of a buffer. BSB doesn’t work like that, we’ve seen too many twists and turns time and time again.  

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing