Byrne’s 300th race start and valuable points for the Be Wiser Ducati Team, Buchan misses out with concussion.
- 300th race start for Shane Byrne
- Byrne leaves Oulton Park second in the championship
- Best finish for Irwin in seventh
- Buchan concussed in qualifying crash misses both races
The opening race at Oulton Park marked Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne’s 300th race. Both Byrne and teammate Glenn Irwin had their work cut out following a crash and a technical fault respectively during yesterday’s qualifying session putting them back further on the grid than they would expect. Both however dug deep to gain valuable points for the Be Wiser Ducati Team over the two races. For Danny Buchan and the Lloyds British Moto Rapido team their weekend was cut short due to a crash in qualifying. Early in the first qualifying session Buchan high sided his Panigale at Knickerbrook knocking himself out and preventing the rider being eligible to ride in either of the two races. Race 1
The first race at Oulton Park was declared a wet after a series of heavy showers throughout the day however changeable conditions hampered the chances of rapid progress through the field by the Be Wiser Ducati riders.
Byrne started from 16th on the grid but by the second lap of 18 the four-time BSB Champion had already gained five places. He then moved up into 12th before taking another couple of positions over the next couple of laps. On lap four the sun had come out and the racing line over parts of the track was soon starting to dry up. Byrne then put in his quickest consecutive times on laps five and six and had soon worked his way up to finishing position of eighth place.
Glenn Irwin had started from 28th after a mechanical fault ended his qualifying session early yesterday. On his opening race lap the Superbike rookie was on a charge passing 10 riders and moving into 18th position. At half race distance Irwin had climbed another place and was chasing down a group of seven riders that were three seconds in front of him. On lap 14 he had caught and passed Bridewell to move into 15th and when race leader Linfoot crashed out on lap 18 Irwin was promoted to 14th position. Irwin eventually moved up a final position to match his last race result of 13th, made all the more impressive considering he had lined up at the start of the race on the last row of the grid. Race 2
Byrne started Race 2 from the front of the fourth row in P10 with his teammate Irwin at the front of the fifth row in P13. Irwin span the rear accelerating away from the line and he and Byrne were unable to match their previous opening laps, both losing a place. But by the sixth lap Byrne had made his way up into eighth with his teammate in 11th. Later in the race Irwin managed to pass Byrne and stay ahead for several laps but Byrne eventually got the better of his younger teammate, who was cautious in the wet, and finished in sixth. Irwin completed the race less than half a second down the road in seventh. This was with his best finish to date in the championship, equalling the point haul from all three of his previous races.
Byrne leaves Oulton Park 2nd in the Championship with 58 points while Irwin is 12th with 17 points. Shane Byrne
“It’s been a very difficult weekend. My 300th race start and one of the team’s home tracks. I didn’t come here for a 8th and 6th finish. That’s really frustrating.
We knew this weekend was going to be difficult because last Friday everyone else tested here so we were on the back foot. But we’ve learnt a lot this weekend and that’s the important thing and what I like most about this challenge. I can’t wait for Brands now and wish we could go racing again tomorrow.” Glenn Irwin
“9 points in the last race is really good. That’s four finishes, all in the points. The Ducati’s been really reliable with just one little mishap. We’re consistent and we’re only going to go faster so hopefully we can keep finishing, getting higher up the points for the showdown.”