Shakey and James dig deep at Silverstone
RIZLA SUZUKI’S Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne took a well-deserved fourth place in race two, after crashing out of the opener, at today’s 12th round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Silverstone.
In the first race Shakey collided with Honda’s Michael Laverty while trying to pass him at the chicane, crashing out unhurt. In race two he enjoyed a battle with Honda’s Jonathan Rea before executing a dramatic pass on the last lap at the same place he crashed earlier, taking fourth and a huge cheer from the crowd.
James Haydon retired from the opening race – the team’s first technical DNF this season – and went on to finish ninth in the second event, on his comeback from a three month absence due to injury. Honda’s Ryuichi Kiyonari won both races.
Rizla Suzuki will be in action again at the 13th and final round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch in Kent, on Sunday, October 1st. Double points will be awarded after the cancellation of the Mondello Park round in May - and with the final Championship positions still to be decided, it promises to be a thrilling weekend.
“I enjoyed race two. On the last lap I gave it my all and as we approached the chicane I thought about my crash earlier in the day. I quickly forgot about that and put the GSX-R up the inside and took fourth.
“I am not happy with fourth place but after trying so hard I am pleased with the result. I did my fastest lap of the race at the end, which shows we have a strong set-up for race distance. If I can get away with the leaders early on then I know can be challenging for race wins.”
“In the first race I was forced to retire and missed out on a probable top eight finish, which was disappointing. In the second race I was beaten up early on by Simon Andrews and dropped back to 12th to regroup. Then as the race went on I found my confidence and started reducing my lap times. I ended up ninth, which I am happy with given my recent lack of racing due to injury.
“I am happier and more confident in my bike and will go to Brands Hatch in a fortnight’s time with a view to challenging much further up the results sheet.”
Robert Wicks, Team Manager:
“It has been a day of contrasting fortunes for both riders. A mistake by Shakey in the first race meant he crashed out, but he dug in and showed his fighting spirit to come back and take a good fourth in the second race.
“James is well and truly back with the team. It was disappointing he didn’t finish the first race but then he rode really well in the second race to take ninth. Given the level of competition in this Championship and his long lay-off for injury, it was a fantastic effort.
“Rizla Suzuki goes to the final round in optimistic mood and looking for podium results. Brands Hatch in Kent is Shakey’s home circuit so he will benefit from local support, while it is also one of James’s favourites and the scene of his pole position and podium finish the last time he visited. We can’t wait to get there.”
Race One Result: 1: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) 28:48.614, 2: Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) +11.416, 3: Karl Harris (Honda) +12.184, 4: Jonathan Rea (Honda) +13.990, 5: Michael Rutter (Honda) +18.184, 6: Tommy Hill (Yamaha) +28.185, 7: Ben Wilson (Suzuki) +30.342, 8: Dean Thomas (Kawasaki) +31.885, 9: Glen Richards (Honda) +33.456, 10: Peter Hickman (Kawasaki) +54.065.
Race Two Result: 1: Kiyonari 28:47.618, 2: Lavilla +5.202, 3: Leon Haslam (Ducati) +8.027, 4: SHANE BYRNE (RIZLA SUZUKI) +9.945, 5: Rea +10.354, 6: Harris +15.541, 7: Rutter +18.240, 8: Thomas +30.051, 9: JAMES HAYDON (RIZLA SUZUKI) +30.393, 10: Wilson +30.661.
Championship Positions after 12 of 13 rounds: 1: Lavilla 377, 2: Kiyonari 376, 3: Haslam 368, 4: SHANE BYRNE (RIZLA SUZUKI) 224, 5: Harris 218, 6: Rea 216, 7: Hill 161, 8: Rutter 158, 9: Michael Laverty (Honda) 157, 10: Richards 115, 16: JAMES HAYDON (RIZLA SUZUKI) 43.