Shane Byrne Fights Back

Published: 11 March 2009

British Superbike champion Shane Byrne approaches Saturday’s second round of the World Superbike Championship in Qatar in a confident mood on his Sterilgarda Ducati despite crashing twice in the opening races at Philllip Island in Australia.

“I’ve raced at Qatar in MotoGP, and the most important thing for me is that unlike Phillip Island, no one else has tested there,” Byrne said.

“I’ve got no doubt that the Qatar round will be a lot better for us.”

Byrne lags 45 points behind series leader Noriyuki Haga on the factory Xerox Ducati, but 26 races remain in the 28-race series.

The Brit started the season as one of the favourites for the WSB crown after twice being fastest in winter testing sessions.

But he was one of few riders not to test before the Australian round, which left him two full days behind his rivals in terms of bike setup.

But fellow-Brit Leon Haslam climbed the rostrum in race two at Phillip Island, when the 25-year-old finished third on his Stiggy Honda.

Haslam now holds third place in the championship table, and will be hunting for more podium glory in the two races at the Losail circuit on Saturday.