Byrne heads to Brand Hatch with it all to do despite race 1 podium

Shane ‘Shakey' Byrne has it all to do at the final round at Brands Hatch after mixed results at Assen saw him lose ground in the title fight.

Championship leader Leon Haslam moves 33 points ahead after finishing in front of Shakey in both races.

Race 1
Byrne was on the back foot after a disastrous qualifying session saw him line up on the fifth row of the grid. Feeling battered and bruised after a double crash in Q2, Byrne had it all to do. Despite his grid position Byrne sliced through the field and was soon involved in an epic battle at the front with Sylvain Guintoli (Bennetts Suzuki), Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) and James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha).

Despite his heroic efforts he was unable to get ahead of Haslam and finished 2nd and with a fastest lap lined up on pole for race 2.

For team mate Glen Irwin it was a disappointing race after starting from near the back of the grid in 21st he had managed to move up to 12th before vibration problems set him back to 14th.

John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) had a good start to the race lying in 5th but unfortunately dropped back after struggling with feel from the hard rear. He eventually finished in 9th position.

Race 2
Byrne led from the first lap and was to maintain this position for the majority of the race but unfortunately at the climax of the race a mistake at turn 1 meant he ran on at the corner dropping him to fifth where he would finish.

For Be Wiser Ducati team-mate Glen Irwin he again struggled mid-pack as an intense battle with a group of riders meant he was unable to improve on his grid position eventually finishing again in 14th place.

For fellow Ducati rider John Hopkins it was a similar story as a combination of mid-pack battles, collisions and front end chatter meant he was unable to improve on his race 1 result coming home in 12th.

Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)
"We were able to take a lot of positives out of the first race and to come through from 16th on the grid to second was pleasing. The one person I'm focused on at the moment is Leon as he's leading the championship so getting involved with riders not part of the Showdown made life difficult. I should have been really happy with second place but the reality was I still didn't beat Leon. Starting race two from pole made my life easier although I knew it would still be tough but I gave myself the best possible chance by leading for the majority of the race. The pace dropped when James (Ellison) passed me and I tried to fight back but made a mistake and dropped back to fifth so all I can do is go to Brands Hatch and do my very best. If that gets us the championship, then great, if it doesn't, no-one can say I didn't try."

Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati)
"Being so far back of the grid for the first race meant it was always going to be hard but I was pleased to have fought my way back up to 12th. In the last few laps though, I started to get a really bad vibration and was powerless to respond so it was a shame to drop back to 14th. The second race was a lot better and although the result still wasn't very good, our pace was much better. It's been a testing weekend but I'm continuing to rebuild after all the good work I'd done at the beginning of the year."

John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati)
"It was a disappointing end to what had started as a promising weekend. We had a really good rhythm from FP 1 onwards and we were consistently in the top 5. Qualifying was disappointing because I made a bit of a mistake on the last lap of Q3. Race 1 I got a good start and we ran a harder tyre than we are normally used to, it took me a while to get a feel for the harder rear tyre. By the time I had got a feel for the rear tyre I had was already back quite a few places and then despite good pace mid-race towards the end the front started to slide and fold.
Race 2 I got caught with a group and was banging bars and unfortunately had a couple of collisions on first couple of corners and lost quite a few position and then suffered from front end chatter. From lap 1 to the end I was swapping places or trading paint with someone on track and every time that happened the group would get away. It was a disappointment because it was not where we wanted to finish."

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