Reigning MCE British Champion Shane Byrne slipped from first to third in the 2017 title chase after two poor results at Oulton Park saw title rivals Leon Haslam and Josh Brookes leapfrog him in the points table.
Byrne had a visor problem in the opening leg which culminated in a ninth-place finish and a slow laptime which meant a 12th-place start in race two. Byrne then tried to fight his way through on the damp surface but used up his rear Pirelli and ended in seventh, which team co-ordinator Stuart Bland described as a ‘chain of events’.
“It’s a bit difficult to find the words at the moment and after having three poor rounds, I was feeling really positive coming into Oulton Park, especially after finishing first and second here in May. This was the part of the season I was looking forward to the most and where the real stuff was going to start but Friday was a disaster ending the day over a second off the pace,” said Byrne.
“Fair play to the team, they turned the bike around for qualifying and it was only my mistake that cost us pole. We had a wet warm up today but I was quick and thought the race would be ok but after about three laps of the race, I was really struggling to see. I don’t know what caused it but I couldn’t see a thing and when I saw 10 laps to go on my pit board, my heart sank.
“I tried everything to clear the visor but ended up ninth whilst a poor lap time gave me a poor grid position for race two. I knew what I needed to do and got my head down but when you try hard like that, you end up making mistakes, which is what I did. I’m not even going to look at the points table but all I know is that things can change quickly in bike racing and this is far from over.”