Mixed rides in BSB for Hill and Byrne
17:53 28 May 2012
Two Kent British Superbike stars grab podium places at Snetterton.
Tommy Hill, and Shane Byrne both had mixed rides in the latest round of the British Superbike Championship at Snetterton.
Hill won race one, with Byrne bowing out after five laps, and the roles were reversed in race two with Byrne picking up second place and Hill stopping after five laps.
Byrne qualified on the second row for the first race at the Norfolk and got off to a flying start on the opening lap. But he and his team mate Stuart Easton were forced out of contention with technical problems, but Byrne bounced back with a strong second place in race two after holding off Josh Brookes over the closing stages.
Byrne said: “In the first race I got a decent start and settled in to the race and I could see the leaders getting away a bit so I dug deep and made a pass on Haga and then it was game over with a problem that meant I had to retire.
“In race two we had changed the engine and it had slightly different characteristics but I was getting on with the job and getting used to it. Michael went off like a scalded cat and then I could see that Josh was closing on me; on the penultimate lap I thought that was the last one and I was a bit erratic trying to keep him behind me, but then I came round and saw one lap to go and I couldn’t believe it! It was great to get a second place for the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki team and some more podium credits.”
Hill overcame an overheating problem to win race one, but it re-occured in the second race forcing him to retire after just five laps.
He said: “There were six different winners from the first six races so to be the first one to win two is a good feeling.
“The new rules without the traction control mean you have to ride harder but at the same time you don’t want to push too hard although you know the other guys will be pushing hard too. I knew it would be tough, especially towards the end of the race.
“When Josh came passed me I was worried that there might be a pack waiting to do the same. I had an issue with water coming up in my face during the race but we got through it.
“In the second race I had the same issue and I managed to get close to Michael (Laverty) and then I just had to pull in.
“It is so frustrating as we had made some good changes between races and I think we could have had a good race so I do feel pretty gutted.
“I suppose that is because it is my passion and I really wanted a double podium today. It has been a weekend of ups and downs; race one was fantastic and now we will regroup and prepare for Knockhill where the Swan Yamaha team will come out fighting.”