Shane Byrne in need of track time in Australia

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Shane Byrne admits that he’ll be playing catch up at the opening round of the WSB championship at Phillip Island having missed the latest round of testing at the Australian circuit.

Byrne’s title rivals have all completed testing in the week leading up to the race, which will almost certainly give them an advantage in terms of track knowledge and bike-setup.

In pre-season testing in Portugal, Byrne has been the fastest man on track so despite his lack of track time is still expected to be a contender in Sunday’s two races.

He said: “I tested at Phillip Island when I rode the Aprilia in MotoGP’s so I know where the track goes. I really like the place and it’s obviously one of the great circuits.

“My Sterilgarda team have got a lot of experience having run Max (Biaggi) and Ruben (Xaus) last year so they know what’s going on which should make it easier for me. There are a lot of really fast guys here and missing the test is going to cost us.

“But I’m not going to worry about what everyone else is doing until Sunday because that’s the day that counts.”