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BSB: Byrne surprised with qualifying pace in sizzling heat

Published: 06 May 2018

Shane Byrne was surprised with the pace in this afternoon’s Bennetts British Superbike qualifying at Oulton Park as he set a blistering 1’33.979 to take pole position for tomorrow’s opening race.

Byrne’s time was just hundredths off the fastest ever two-wheeled lap of Oulton Park, which was set by Byrne himself back in 2016, but the six time champion is convinced he could have been a good chunk quicker had the circuit not been so hot.

With Oulton Park basking in the glorious bank holiday weather, track temperatures were as high as 40 degrees come qualifying leaving the surface incredibly greasy as the riders headed out on track.

“The warm temperatures today meant there wasn’t much grip out there and the bike was moving around quite a lot so to do a 1’33.9 lap given the conditions was pleasing,” Byrne said.

“I’m pretty sure if the track temperature had been 25/30 degrees then we could have seen some low 1’33s… maybe we will find out in September!”

While clearly pleased to be on pole, Byrne was even more happy with his pace across the weekend and seems quietly confident ahead of tomorrow’s two races.

“Our race pace is strong and the weather bodes well for us as the Ducati works well in the warmer temperatures and is kinder on the tyres. Two 18-lap races won’t be easy so I’ll be aiming to make a good start, settle into a rhythm and see what happens.”