After a superb performance in qualifying which saw both VK Vent Axia sponsored and Dunlop shod bikes on the front row of the grid neither rider could turn that into a podium and indeed both Byrne and Sykes only saw the chequered flag once each after a dramatic day of action in the Kent sunshine.
In the opening 30 lap race Byrne suffered with a poor start but battled back to claim sixth at the finish as Sykes slid out of third position which resulted in his machine catching fire but the 21 year old Yorkshireman escaped uninjured.
In race two it was Byrne’s turn to run with the leading bunch early on and was holding a solid podium place when he crashed out on the fast Paddock Hill Bend leaving Sykes to bring the second of the Hondas home in seventh place.
The nett result was for the first time in seven meetings the Paul Bird team came away without any silverware but with two riders in the top six of the Championship it can be construed as a successful season for the Stobart VK Vent Axia Team.
Tom Sykes: “I had a decent start in both races, but in the first one I started struggling a little bit with grip and then I lost the front going into the corner, then in the second race I was on the spare bike and something just wasn’t right for me. We’ve had an absolutely fantastic season so I can’t be too negative but I have had a bad weekend. I’d just like to thank all the boys who have worked so hard this year, especially Birdy, Phil and Johnny and all the crew have been fantastic so its all thanks to the Stobart Vent Axia squad. I’m just gutted I didn’t do the job for them this weekend, but its just one of those things – that’s racing. I’d also like to thank Dunlop tyres for all their support all season.”
Shane Byrne: “It’s a really disappointing end to what should have been a really good weekend. In the first race I got duffed up at the start by Michael Rutter but I got past him a couple of laps later. The course car came out and I thought that was perfect, just what I needed, then I put a move on Cal Crutchlow towards the end of the race but was running a bit too hot and I made a couple of mistakes trying too hard. I felt I had the pace on them, but I just couldn’t get past them. In race two I tried so hard and I got into the lead, the bike went sideways and I knew I needed to get a good drive going down the hill and I caught the engine casing on the kerb and down I went. It’s a disappointing end to the season and I really wanted to get a podium both for the boys and for myself, but I probably tried too hard and paid the price.”
Paul Bird: “After a fantastic qualifying it was a disappointing end to the year but you can’t knock the boys for trying, they have given 100% in every race all year. I’d just like to thank all the mechanics, sponsors and all the team for making it a most enjoyable year.”
Race 1 Result
1, Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) 23m35.208s, 2, Jonathan Rea (Honda) +2.499s, 3, Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) +3.390s, 4, Leon Haslam (Ducati) +3.450s, 5, Cal Crutchlow (Suzuki) +3.673s, 6, Shane Byrne (Stobart Vent Axia Motorsport Honda) +4.193s, 7, Chris Walker (Suzuki) +16.715s, 8, Michael Rutter (Kawasaki) +16.818s, 9, Simon Andrews (Yamaha) +20.523s, 10, Steve Plater (Yamaha) +20.581s.
Race 2 Result
1, Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) 15m22.873s, 2, Jonathan Rea (Honda) +2.182s, 3, Cal Crutchlow (Suzuki) +2.468s, 4, Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) +3.592s, 5, Leon Haslam (Ducati) +3.809s, 6, Chris Walker (Suzuki) +9.724s, 7, Tom Sykes (Stobart Vent Axia Motorsport Honda) +9.875s, 8, Karl Harris (Honda) +16.214s, 9, James Haydon (Kawasaki) +18.331s, 10, Michael Rutter (Kawasaki) +18.396s.
2007 Bennetts British Superbike Championship Final Positions
1, Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) 433pts
2, Jonathan Rea (Honda) 407pts
3, Leon Haslam (Ducati) 387pts
4, Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) 368pts
5, Shane Byrne (Stobart Vent Axia Motorsport Honda) 293pts
6, Tom Sykes (Stobart Vent Axia Motorsport Honda) 279pts
7, Chris Walker (Suzuki) 225pts
8, Leon Camier (Honda) 199pts
9, Cal Crutchlow (Suzuki) 152pts
10, Tommy Hill (Yamaha) 138pts
Round 1 – 7th to 9th April – Brands Hatch GP, Kent
Round 2 – 14th/15th April – Thruxton, Hants
Round 3 – 27th/29th April – Silverstone, Northants
Round 4 – 5th/7th May – Oulton Park, Cheshire
Round 5 – 18th/20th May – Snetterton, Norfolk
Round 6 – 15th/17th June – Mondello Park, Co Kildare
Round 7 – 30th June/1st July – Knockhill, Fife
Round 8 – 13th/15th July – Oulton Park, Cheshire
Round 9 – 20th/22nd July – Mallory Park, Leics
Round 10 – 10th/12th August – Croft, North Yorkshire
Round 11 – 25th/27th August – Cadwell Park, Lincolnshire
Round 12 – 21st/23rd September – Donington Park, Leics
Round 13 – 12th/14th October – Brands Hatch Indy, Kent