Be Wiser Ducati’s Shane Byrne is the new MCE British Superbike series leader after doing the double at Donington Park, and his SC0 rear tyre choice certainly paid off, as the hotter track conditions bettered the softer Pirelli tyre compound.
His title rival, JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam opted for the harder SC1 rear tyre, and he found he had less grip towards the end of the race, compared to the Panigale of Byrne.
The four-time champ smashed his own circuit lap record at the circuit, after a phenomenal 1’28.896 in race two and has a 27 point lead in the series over Haslam. Now Byrne has hailed the tenth round of the championship as a ‘great weekend’.
“I am over the moon for the Be Wiser Ducati team, and it is a great start to the showdown for us and there are some tough races to come. It has been a great weekend. When the track temperature came up today it in effect played into my hands a bit. The zero tyre does not have the longevity of the one, but it does have more performance initially,” said Byrne at the circuit.
“In the first race I had to get to the front and control it. In the second race, was a little bit tougher and I sat in third for a bit and I wanted to make sure I went through and I waited for my moment and pushed on for a few laps.”
In the opening race Byrne crossed the finishing line with a seven second advantage over Haslam, as the Kawasaki rider’s harder compound tyre started to lose a bit of grip towards the final laps at the Leicestershire track, and Byrne stated that Haslam’s tyre choice ‘dictated his plan of attack.’
Speaking after race one Byrne added: “It has been a tough year and it is shaping up to be a great year too. Leon’s tyre choice completely dictated my plan of attack. If Leon went with a zero he and I are similar and I tired a SC1 in warm up and it doesn’t work how we needed it to work for my bike, and with the temperature coming up all the work we have done has been on a zero so I kind of knew roughly were I could be.
“I tried to get to the front and tried to settle down a bit and I managed to run a consistent pace without using too much rear tyre and I was really careful and I could hear Leon for the first ten laps. Fortunately I stayed up front and towards the end the tyre was really good and I thought if I could keep this up for the last eight or nine laps I would be in pretty good shape. I certainly didn’t take any risks on the last lap.”