Be Wiser Ducati’s Shane Byrne started off the MCE British Superbike qualifying session in a dominant fashion, and was the fastest rider in Q1 in wet conditions at Oulton Park this afternoon. But a crash in the second qualifying outing means that he will start race-one tomorrow from the sixth row.
Byrne high-sided at Hizzy’s in Q2, and was fortunately unhurt. He tried in vain to get his Panigale restarted but his left handlebar had snapped in half and the former champ was unable to restart the session.
It was an afternoon to forget for the Be Wiser team as his team-mate Glenn Irwin experienced an engine blow out in Q1, and the Northern Irishman will now start from the back of the grid.
“It was a difficult qualifying session to sum up. The bike was working fantastically well in the wet and I was feeling really confident but at the start of Q2, I was putting in a fast out lap when I locked the front going into Lodge and I nearly went down,” said Byrne.
“I ran onto the gravel and thought luck was on our side so rejoined and tried to be easy on the front a bit. In the middle of Hizzy’s though, the bike came round on me and whilst you think you can save them, sometimes you know that’s not going to happen.
“I’m disappointed for the whole Be Wiser Ducati team after the problem with Glenn’s bike but we have a lot of positives to take particularly being fastest in Q1 and having a great feeling with the bike. We’ll see what tomorrow brings and hopefully our bad luck is behind us.”