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World Superstock 1000

Sunday 15th May 2011

A WIN AND CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD MAINTAINED AT CROFT

Shane 'Shakey' Byrne secured his second victory of the season at the third round of the British Superbike Championship at Croft today as he took a commanding lead in race two to win and maintain his lead in the overall standings at HM Plant’s home round.

In the opening race of the day Shakey had been leading the race when engine failure forced him to retire, however the HM Plant Honda team worked hard between the races and in race two he proved his pace by leading the race and edging an advantage over his title rivals to victory. Shakey, the only rider to have won two races so far this season, now leads the standings by three points.

Ryuichi Kiyonari meanwhile had a difficult end to his weekend as he opted for wet tyres in the opening race and as the track dried he was classified 25th. In the second race he started from the seventh row and worked his way through to 15th after having a challenging weekend with set up at the bumpy Yorkshire circuit.

In the National Superstock 1000 Championship Jason O’Halloran claimed his second podium finish of the season as he took advantage of a good start from sixth on the grid to run third on the opening lap. He was able to make a determined move on Adam Jenkinson to move second and then he bid to close the early lead of Tristan Palmer. His second place means HM Plant Honda maintain third place in the overall standings ahead of the fourth round at Thruxton.

Shakey said: “The first race was obviously disappointing for me and the HM Plant Honda team as I desperately wanted to win and do a good job for HM Plant at their home round. In the first race it was a gamble on tyres and we opted for slicks, but it was the right choice and we were able to build up a lead. We were unlucky to have a mechanical failure whilst leading as we have done so many miles on the bikes and it was just a shame it happened in the race. The HM Plant Honda team then worked hard between the races to get me ready for race two and I had a bit of a strategy to just see how the race unfolded. We tried hard, settled down and then I just pushed to edge the gap and then tried to keep it consistent and control the lead. It was disappointment to elation for me in one day but we were able to end the day on a high and it was a great victory for myself and the HM Plant Honda team at our title sponsor’s home round.”

Kiyo said: “It has been a difficult weekend for me and I have been trying many different changes but we still were running the same lap times, but we have worked hard to try and fix the problem. In the first race it was a decision on tyres and we thought it would rain more, so we went for wets but that was the wrong choice and I just couldn’t push. In the second race I had to start so far down the grid because of race one and then it was hard work but we still made passes and moved forward. It is disappointing for me and the team but I want to try and be back on the podium at Thruxton.”

Jason said: “I got a good start and thought that it might even be possible to take the lead into the first corner but third wasn’t bad from a sixth place start. I dropped off a little in the first few laps as we got into a rhythm which lost me time later in the race on Tristan. We made some drastic changes to the setting for today and I have to thank the HM Plant Honda team as it put us on the podium again. I got my head down and tried to catch Tristan in the final stages but he had a good pace and I just couldn’t close it down enough. To qualify sixth and finish second was a good result today and my confidence is high now for the next round.”

Team Manager Havier Beltran concluded: “A day of unbelievable highs and catastrophic lows for the HM Plant Honda team. We have had issues with getting Kiyo where he needs to be which is disappointing for everyone, but we will be doing everything we can to put that right at Thruxton and return to winning ways. For Shakey it was disappointment too in the first race with an engine failure as we really believed he could have taken a double win here today. The fact thtoday the highest he had finished here at Croft was fourth shows he could have taken the first double of the season. It was a great win for Shakey and we are happy that HM Plant Honda and the Fireblade still lead the overall standings after this weekend. For Jason it was another strong race and consistently finishing on the podium is what he needs to be in contention for the Superstock title at the end of the season.”

 

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