In morning warm-up, Byrne missed the chequered flag and was penalised for riding too fast on a red flag lap by being moved back eight places from ninth to 17th on the grid. But he gritted his teeth and fought his way through to fourth before eventually ending up fifth after a race-long battle with Honda’s Jonathan Rea.
On the sighting lap for the second race, he was forced into the pits to change to his spare bike after discovering a problem with the front wheel. He had to start the race from the final position on the grid before again showing his determination to finish eighth.
Starting from fifth on the grid, team mate James Haydon was taken out of race one at the first corner when Karl Harris’s Honda skittled him. In the second race he crashed out on the opening lap unhurt.
Ducati’s Gregorio Lavilla won both races.
Rizla Suzuki will attend an official British Superbike test on Friday at Oulton Park in Cheshire before returning to the same circuit for the fourth round of the Championship on Bank Holiday Monday, May 1st.
“I made a genuine mistake in morning warm-up and missed seeing the chequered flag. I kept going flat out for a few corners before I realised the session was over and ended up being penalised and put back on the grid by eight places. That fired me up and I gave it my all and fifth was a good result from that starting position.
“In the second race I had to start from dead last after a problem on my out lap and I put my head down and went for it again. I got up to eighth in the end and was wishing for more laps as I was stating to catch the riders in front of me.
“We made good progress with the Rizla Suzuki this weekend and I think I could have overtaken anything on the straights as it is a missile. It’s just a shame I wasn’t able to start from a decent grid position in either race as I am sure we had the pace to threaten the podium.”
“I am bitterly disappointed with both races. In the first race I got side-swiped by Karl’s bike as he crashed in front of me. In the second race I lost the rear and ended up on the grass. Both crashes were on the first lap and my races were over before they started.
“Through practice and qualification we found good speed and chassis balance and I’ll take those positives to our test later in the week and the next round at Oulton Park.”
Robert Wicks - Team Manager:
“Shakey showed the real potential of Rizla Suzuki as he fought his way through the pack in both races. The GSX-R1000 is lightning fast and Shakey proved his class and determination to record two strong results. He showed how hungry he is for success and for the last four or five laps in the second race he was the fastest rider on the circuit bar none. His ‘never-say-die’ mentality was a hit with the huge crowd.
“James deserved better after showing such great form throughout practice and qualifying and he will come back stronger and more determined at Oulton Park.
“This has been another character-building weekend for the team, typified by all the hard work in the garage to rebuild James's bike in time for the second race.
“A big thank you to Murray Walker who joined the team to cheer on both Shakey and James – he’s a real gent and bike enthusiast who we are proud to call a friend of Rizla Suzuki.”
Race One Results: 1: Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) 28:47270, 2: Leon Haslam (Ducati) +4.460, 3: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) +12.742, 4: Jonathan Rea (Honda) +18.921, 5: Shane Byrne (Rizla Suzuki) +19.058, 6: Michael Rutter (Honda) +22.866, 7: Glen Richards (Honda) +30.839, 8: Tommy Hill (Yamaha) +30.974, 9: Dean Thomas (Kawasaki) +34.210, 10: Michael Laverty (Honda) +34.252. James Haydon (Rizla Suzuki) DNF.
Race Two Results: 1: Lavilla 27:58.085, 2: Haslam +6.337, 3: Karl Harris (Honda) +15.230, 4: Kiyonari +15.566, 5: Rea +21.323, 6: Thomas +25.437, 7: Rutter +30.305, 8: Shane Byrne (Rizla Suzuki) +34.977, 9: Hill +38.501, 10 Scott Smart (Suzuki) +42.610. James Haydon (Rizla Suzuki) DNF
Championship Standings (after three of 13 rounds): 1: Lavilla 132, 2: Haslam 96, 3: Kiyonari 87, 4: Harris 57, 5: Rea 54, 6: Shane Byrne (Rizla Suzuki) 45, 7=: Smart 44, 7=: Rutter 44, 9: Laverty 42, 10: Thomas 40, 16=: James Haydon (Rizla Suzuki) 15.