BSB: Oulton test proves valuable for Byrne

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Last week’s Oulton Park test proved to be bittersweet for reigning Bennetts BSB champion Shane Byrne.

Initially disappointed that Ducati hadn’t brought the new swing arm he raced at Brands Hatch to the test as it was being used by the World Superbike duo of Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies in Brno, Byrne was forced to revert to an older component he’d previously struggled with at the flowing Cheshire circuit.

However, after a full day on track the Be Wiser Ducati team had made some progress with the older set-up, leaving Byrne confident about the Oulton weekend ahead and further races when the updated swing arm returns.

“I had hoped to have some parts ready to test but unfortunately they weren’t ready which was a bit annoying,” Byrne said.  I guess that keeps the potential in our pockets for a little later in the season…

“Last year we knew that the configuration I had to ride at Oulton simply didn't work yet we were kind of stuck with it so we chipped away over the first couple of sessions trying hard to improve the bike, we did a pretty good job too but I was keen to try another chassis part that we ended up having to race last year and the year before, it never feels great having to go backwards but after a few exits with our oldest swing arm in I was getting pretty comfortable.

“I did a fairly decent lap time that I thought was going to be pretty much good enough for P1 although I eventually dropped to third in the dying moments but for me it wasn't so much that I was particularly happy with the lap time I was happier with the fact that I felt like I could continually bang in fast lap after fast lap, as I said I ended up P3 but we know why, I'll take a good feeling and roll with it.” 

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

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