The ninth round of the 2017 MCE British Superbike Championship heads for the historic circuit of Silverstone this week with Be Wiser Ducati Racing Team riders Shane Byrne and Glenn Irwin looking to add to their successes already this season.
However, this weekend’s action comprises not the usual two, but three races at the 3.66-mile GP track and will see the six riders confirmed into the title-deciding Showdown which starts the following weekend at Oulton Park.
Five-times and defending champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne is well placed to claim his slot as he continues to lead the title race despite a mechanical problem in the second race at Cadwell Park last time out when leading. The Sittingbourne-based Londoner has already won five races this season aboard the factory-backed Be Wiser Ducati Panigale and is looking to book his place in the Showdown for a seventh successive year.
Importantly, Shakey holds a five-point advantage in the Podium Points tally ahead of Leon Haslam and will be looking to increase that at a track which has seen him achieve some brilliant results over recent years. Since 2012, Byrne has only failed to finish off the podium once at Silverstone, a fifth place in 2015, but apart from that, his record lists two wins and seven runner-up placings in those ten races meaning he’s the man they all need to beat.
Doing his best to back up his team-mate for Paul Bird’s Penrith-based team will be Ulsterman Glenn Irwin who continues his recovery from serious injuries sustained at Knockhill earlier in the season. The 27 year old from Carrickfergus has struggled in recent rounds as he bravely battled away against the pain and mobility barriers but is gradually returning to full fitness.
Sadly, Glenn has missed out on a Showdown spot so as well as wanting a repeat of his runner-up place behind Byrne at the earlier Oulton Park meeting, plans to put himself in the mix to take points off Byrne’s rivals on his Be Wiser Ducati Panigale R.
Shane Byrne: “I’ve really enjoyed a pleasant mix of relaxing and training hard in Spain with my family since Cadwell Park and have had time to reflect on things. I have a great team around me and like them, I’ve been really annoyed and frustrated that we’ve as good as given away a potential 10 Podium Points in the last two rounds with a couple of DNFs. We know what we need to do and Silverstone should be a good track for us, this is our last chance to earn as many Podium Points this weekend so I’ll be going all out to do exactly that.”
Glenn Irwin: “I think everybody should be excited going into this weekend with it being a triple-header but I can only speak for myself. The body has had a good rest since Cadwell but I have got more miles done on my push bike than ever before and we’ve made more progress with my injuries which is big a step forward. I like Silverstone and I need to repay my team for not delivering the results recently so I intend to do that this weekend. Also, if I can help Shakey in any way possible, it goes without saying I’ll do that.”
Pictures attached (courtesy of Jon Jessop Photography) Shane Byrne (67) and Glenn Irwin (2)