BSB: Byrne to test new swing arm at Brands

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It might be the final year for Ducati’s v-twin Panigale, but the Italian marque aren’t resting on their laurels as the Be Wiser Ducati team heads into the second round of the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch.

Reigning champion Shane Byrne has a new swing-arm option to test at the Kent circuit this weekend as he strives to win his third successive British title this year.

The 41-year-old suffered with a number of issues with the Ducati’s handling through testing, but it’s hoped the new swing arm – which it is believed was tested by Ducati’s WSB riders in Thailand – will resolve those.

Byrne’s Ducati Corse crew chief, Giovanni Crupi, remained tight-lipped when quizzed about the differences with the new arm and Byrne insists he doesn’t know how it is different to the old one and would only say he has been told it might fix his issues.

“Brands Indy is a tricky round for us as the Ducati is a particularly rigid bike, when it works it works really, really well but if it gets a little bit out of shape or you have to scratch around on it then it tends to punish you quite a bit,” Byrne explained.

“We’ve got a new swing arm to try when we get there, it’s something we had at Donington but given the conditions meant we couldn’t test it.

“I’m not a huge fan of the Indy circuit but love Brands, I fell off there last year so I’ll not be looking to repeat that. Hopefully we can have a strong weekend, get back on the rostrum and get some more podium credits in the bank ready for the showdown later in the year.” 

Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

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