BSB: Byrne: 'Now the season has started!'

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Shane Byrne kicked off his Bennetts British Superbike title defence at Brands Hatch with his first victory of the year at Brands Hatch this weekend.

The Be Wiser Ducati ace and BSB’s man of the moment Bradley Ray were in a class of their own in Sunday’s opening race, pulling a gap on the rest of the field as Ray led the way with Byrne in close pursuit.

While the Suzuki man proved hard to pass, a door would open after a mistake at Paddock Hill towards the end of the race with Byrne pouncing and pulling away to take the win.

The victory was the icing on the top of the cake for Byrne with the Be Wiser Ducati team enjoying a strong weekend all round at a circuit which has been problematic for them in the past. 

“The great thing this weekend is we’ve struggled here in the past,” he told MCN. “The Indy circuit is a scratchy little track and our bike really doesn’t like that, we’ve often found ourselves chasing our tail quite a bit in the last few years. This year, however, we’ve been fast pretty much all weekend and comfortably too. It would be a lie if I said it was simple or straightforward or easy or whatever, but at the same time it wasn’t neck on the line every single corner, every single lap. I’ve been in that situation before with our bike where it’s been like that and we’ve paid the price for it, but this weekend we did the job we came here to do and left having scored more points than anyone else.” 

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

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