Shakey was given a saline drip by doctors before climbing aboard his Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 for the first race. Despite feeling weak he showed his determination to lead the race and finish in second place to score Rizla Suzuki’s first podium of the season.
In the second event an exhausted Shakey battled for third place for the entire race. On the last lap he clashed with Honda’s Jonathan Rea and both riders went off track. Rea missed the Knickerbrook chicane and crossed the line in third while Shakey came back on track and finished fourth. He was later awarded third place after an investigation into the incident and both riders sportingly shook hands. Shakey is now up to fifth in the Championship standings.
Rizla Suzuki’s James Haydon was in contention for the win in the opening race and finished fourth just two seconds behind the winner. In the next race he was knocked off track by Kawasaki’s Dean Thomas at Shell Oils corner and despite rejoining the race, finished out of the points in 17th. Ducati’s Gregorio Lavilla won both races.
Rizla Suzuki will test at Croft in North Yorkshire on Tuesday, May 9th before making the trip to Mondello Park in the Republic of Ireland for the fifth round of the Championship on Sunday, May 21st.
“A massive thank you to the medical staff who kept me hydrated and fit enough to race this weekend. I have had a serious stomach bug which meant I couldn’t eat or sleep and felt absolutely terrible in the races.
“Before the first race Niall Mackenzie told me to do the warm up lap and if I felt bad then come in to the pits and go straight to bed. But when you receive the amount of support I do from Rizla Suzuki it wasn’t an option and I had to give it a go. I’m glad I did…
“In both races I wasn’t riding as well as I could have, I just wasn’t strong enough to muscle the bike around. Thanks to the team for giving me a great bike this weekend and also to Jonathan Rea for being such a good sport over our last lap clash and conceding third place. I’m sure we’ll both be fighting for more podiums again very soon.”
“In the opening race there were four of us battling at the front. I was disappointed to end up fourth and made a minor change to the rear suspension to improve the bike for the next race.
“I didn’t get as good a start in the second race and going into Shell Oils a Kawasaki collided with me and forced me off the track on to the wet grass where I dropped the bike. I got back on and fought my way through to 17th from dead last by the end. That’s a shame because I think I had the pace to compete for the podium and never got the opportunity.”
Robert Wicks, Team Manager:
“What a heroic ride by Shakey to score two podium finishes while being seriously ill. Most riders wouldn’t have got on their bikes but Shakey wasn’t going to let anything stop him. I am sure if he had been fully fit he would’ve been difficult to beat but he can leave here content in the knowledge he has the speed and potential to win races.
“James rode a brilliant opening race to take fourth and was looking to match that or better in the second before bad luck and a Kawasaki took him off track and out of contention. Like Shakey, he can leave here knowing he has the bike and ability to challenge for race wins.
“We have shown the real potential of the team and it feels great to be back in the thick of the racing. Rizla Suzuki has had a tough start to the season but today’s performances by the riders and the entire team have been a real inspiration. Our test at Croft should hopefully yield further improvements and we look forward to the next race at Mondello Park.”
Race One Result: 1: Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) 27:41.446, 2: SHANE BYRNE (RIZLA SUZUKI) +0.429, 3: Leon Haslam (Ducati) +0.870, 4: JAMES HAYDON (RIZLA SUZUKI) +2.087, 5: Karl Harris (Honda) +11.188, 6: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) +19.467, 7: Tommy Hill (Yamaha) +20.053, 8: Jonathan Rea (Honda) +20.196, 9: Michael Rutter (Honda) +20.878, 10: Glen Richards (Honda) +25.854.
Race Two Result: 1: Lavilla 27:33.612, 2: Harris +0.058, 3: SHANE BYRNE (RIZLA SUZUKI) +12.004, 4: Rea +12.380, 5: Kiyonari +12.430, 6: Rutter +14.764, 7: Haslam +14.826, 8: Hill +22.645, 9: Richards +27.654, 10: Ben Wilson (Suzuki) +27.858, 17: JAMES HAYDON (RIZLA SUZUKI) +54.143
Championship Positions: 1: Lavilla 182, 2: Haslam 121, 3: Kiyonari 108, 4: Harris 88, 5: SHANE BYRNE (RIZLA SUZUKI) 81, 14: JAMES HAYDON (RIZLA SUZUKI) 28