Leon Haslam’s dominant race one win came as a surprise to most at Oulton on Monday, but not least to reigning champion Shane Byrne who had been the quickest rider on track throughout most of the weekend.
The Be Wiser Ducati rider was able to run a strong pace throughout practice before narrowly missing out on setting the quickest ever lap of the Cheshire circuit to take pole in qualifying, but come morning warm-up it was clear something had gone awry.
Byrne’s familiar cheeky grin turned upside down as he found himself plagued by issues in turning, which persisted in the opening race. While he was able to salvage a third place in the closing stages, he wouldn’t be so lucky in race two as he struggled to get past Jake Dixon in the final laps and crossed the line fourth.
“That was far from the weekend I was hoping for and I’m still at a bit of a loss to work out what went wrong…” said a perplexed Byrne. “We were quick all weekend and able to put in low 1’35s relatively easily and consistently in practice but come race day everything went to pot.
“Race one was a disaster, it was 18 laps of waiting to fall off at any given corner as I struggled with chatter. We improved the bike in race two, but by the time I got past Glenn it was just too late. It just wasn’t meant to be this weekend, but we’ll regroup and aim to come back strong at Snetterton which has been a good circuit to us in the past.”