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Record-breaker Byrne tops two-day Snetterton MCE BSB test

Thursday, April 10 2014

Shane Byrne smashed another MCE BSB record at the Snetterton two day official test this week, and the Kent-based rider looks in imperious form with just over a week until the 2014 championship gets underway. The three-time champion lapped comfortably under the existing lap record as he concluded preparations for his home round at Brands Hatch next weekend (18-21 April) - the traditional season opener. Click here to book tickets now from just £26.

Millsport Ducati's Jakub Smrz, a multiple podium finisher in World Superbikes, proved he could be a dark horse this year with an eye-catching performance at the Snetterton test; the Czech rider pushed Byrne throughout the two days and held off the challenge from fans' favourite Chris 'Stalker' Walker to record the second fastest overall time.

American John Hopkins has been out of action for a season but the former MotoGP frontrunner ended the test at Snetterton fifth fastest as he gets set for his Tyco Suzuki race debut at Brands Hatch next weekend. The Californian was a part of the closest ever MCE BSB title finish in 2011, missing out by 0.006s to Tommy Hill. Meanwhile James Ellison, Dan Linfoot, Ryuichi Kiyonari and Stuart Easton all showed flashes of pace at Snetterton and finished inside the top ten.

Byrne's closest rival at the Donington Park test last month was Josh Brookes, but the Milwaukee Yamaha team were absent from Snetterton. The Australian has been tipped by many as a potential champion in 2014 and he ran under the lap record at Donington. His team-mate, upcoming Brit Tommy Bridewell, has also looked supremely quick during pre-season testing.

The MCE BSB contenders now have just a week to wait until the much-anticipated opening round commences at Brands Hatch. They will be on track for the first time on Good Friday with an hour-long practice session from 14:30.

MCE BSB Series Director Stuart Higgs said: "Coming away from the pre-season tests there is huge anticipation for this new season. Records are tumbling already and together with the new team and rider combinations it will undoubtedly be another fantastic season. Shakey is clearly responding the only way he knows after losing the title last year but he expect can expect a prolonged challenge from his rivals. Roll on Brands Hatch at Easter!" 

MCE British Superbike Championship, Snetterton official test, combined times:

Pos Rider Team Best Time Difference
1 Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 1:47.955  
2 Jakub Smrz (Millsport Ducati) 1:48.603 + 0.648
3 Chris Walker (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) 1:48.931 + 0.976
4 Julien Da Costa (Honda Racing UK) 1:49.114 + 1.159
5 John Hopkins (Tyco Suzuki) 1:49.259 + 1.304
6 James Ellison (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) 1:49.529 + 1.574
7 Dan Linfoot (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) 1:49.703 + 1.748
8 Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 1:49.763 + 1.808
9 Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) 1:49.849 + 1.894
10 James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) 1:49.941 + 1.986
11 Josh Waters (Tyco Suzuki) 1:49.979 + 2.024
12 Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) 1:50.126 + 2.171
13 Patric Muff (Bathams BMW) 1:50.192 + 2.237
14 Martin Jessopp (Ridersmotorcycles BMW) 1:50.283 + 2.328
15 Richard Cooper (Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki) 1:50.393 + 2.438
16 Michael Rutter (Bathams BMW) 1:50.553 + 2.598
17 Simon Andrews (RAF Reserves Honda) 1:50.630 + 2.675
18 Lee Costello (Halsall Biker Gear Kawasaki) 1:50.930 + 2.975
19 Harry Hartley (Halsall Biker Gear Kawasaki) 1:51.075 + 3.120
20 Aaron Zanotti (GGH/STEL Suzuki) 1:51.103 + 3.148
21 Ian Hutchinson (FFX Yamaha) 1:51.880 + 3.925
22 Keith Farmer (PR Racing Kawasaki) 1:51.966 + 4.011
23 Mitchell Carr (Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki) 1:52.542 + 4.587
24 Jon Kirkham (Tsingtao Kawasaki) 1:52.601 + 4.749
25 Barry Burrell (Team WD-40 Kawasaki) 1:52.815 + 4.885
26 Jenny Tinmouth (TWR Honda) 1:53.257 + 5.732
27 Peter Baker (Morello Services Kawasaki) 1:54.156 + 6.201
28 Howie Mainwaring (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) 1:54.496 + 6.560
29 Michael Dunlop (Buildbase BMW) 2:00.134 + 20.620


The 2014 MCE British Superbike Championship begins with Round 1 at Brands Hatch in Kent on Easter Weekend (18-21 April). Raceday tickets cost £26 online and four-day weekend tickets just £33. Kids under 13 go free on all days. To book call 0843 453 9000 or  click here.