Shakey led the opening race and enjoyed a three-way scrap for the win, eventually finishing second just behind Honda’s Ryuichi Kiyonari. In the second race the Rizla Suzuki ace led from start to finish. He performed a wheelie the length of the straight in celebration as he received the loudest cheer of the weekend from the huge crowd.
The last time Rizla Suzuki won a race was at Oulton Park in September 2004 when John Reynolds was on his way to claiming the British Superbike title.
Shakey was the lone Rizla Suzuki racer at Knockhill as his team mate James Haydon missed the event while he continues to recuperate from the foot and shoulder injuries he sustained in a crash at Snetterton in Norfolk four weeks ago.
Rizla Suzuki will replace James with a stand in rider at the ninth round of the British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park in Cheshire next weekend. James will attend Oulton Park to support the team. Superbike racing starts at 1315 on Sunday, July 23rd and will be televised on ITV1 at 1500 and Sky Sports at 2100.
“Everybody has been telling me how much Rizla Suzuki needed a win and I knew how important it was for the team. What people didn’t realise is just how much I needed to win as well; it has been a long time since I topped the podium and led a race from start to finish.
“A massive thank you to my team for all the support - they made the difference today. In the first race I was always in contention but had to be content with second. My crew made some inspired changes to the bike in between the races and in the second race I managed to break away for the win.
“It’s been a mega day for Rizla Suzuki, for me and for the Scottish fans. To win the Steve Hislop Memorial for the fastest lap is a real bonus as well. I couldn’t be much happier and can’t wait to get to Oulton Park to see if I can do it all again. I don’t normally drink but I’ll be having a few this evening to celebrate!”
***Hear what Shakey personally has to say about his maiden win for Rizla Suzuki by visiting www.rizla-suzuki.co.uk and clicking on the multimedia section.
Robert Wicks, Team Manager:
“Well done Shakey and Rizla Suzuki for this win, it has been a long time coming. We have had some bad luck recently but through sheer effort and will power we have turned things around for a fantastic result.
“Shakey and the team have shown their true class and this result is not only for them, it is for Rizla, Suzuki, all our sponsors and all of the fans who have stuck with us through thick and thin. Thank you one and all, we hope we can continue in this vein for the rest of the season.
“The weather has been warm and dry for the second year in a row at Knockhill and the racing has been nothing short of spectacular. A lot of credit must go to the circuit staff for their enthusiasm and drive to make the event a big success; it has been a pleasure to race here.
“Now we will go back to the team HQ to prepare for next week’s ninth round of the Championship. There is a lot of work to be completed in a short space of time and we hope today’s results will provide us with strong momentum through the second half of the season.”
Race One Results: 1: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) 24:34.062, 2: SHANE BYRNE (RIZLA SUZUKI) +0.591, 3: Leon Haslam (Ducati) +1.461, 4: Jonathan Rea (Honda) +2.361, 5: Michael Laverty (Honda) +15.458, 6: Craig Coxhell (Kawasaki) +19.204, 7: Karl Harris (Honda) +19.657, 8: Tommy Hill (Yamaha) +20.093, 9: Glen Richards (Honda) +20.185, 10: Scott Smart (Suzuki) +20.246.
Race Two Results: 1: SHANE BYRNE (RIZLA SUZUKI) 24:28.093, 2: Rea +3.154, 3: Haslam +3.454, 4: Hill +16.542, 5: Laverty +16.783, 6: Harris +19.155, 7: Smart +19.243, 8: Richards +20.265, 9: Coxhell +21.543, 10: Michael Rutter (Honda) +27.247.
Championship Standings after eight of 13-rounds: 1: Lavilla 244, 2: Haslam 233, 3: Kiyonari 224, 4: SHANE BYRNE (RIZLA SUZUKI) 150, 5=: Harris 129, Rea 129, 7: Laverty 118, 8: Hill 108, 9: Rutter 99, 10: Smart 74, 16: JAMES HAYDON (RIZLA SUZUKI) 36.