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Byrne’s ‘strive for five’ begins with Spanish test

Tuesday, February 03 2015

Reigning MCE British Superbike Champion Shane 'Shakey' Byrne will begin his title defence this week as his PBM Kawasaki team heads to Almeria in Spain for their opening test of the season. He will be joined on track by team-mate Stuart Easton and Ian Hutchinson.

Byrne lifted a record-breaking fourth title last season and MCE BSB's most successful contender is vowing to fight to make it five titles this year. Team-mate Easton narrowly missed out on the Showdown last season and is determined to build on his returning season after winning the Supersport title in 2013.

With the same rider line-up as last year, the team has been working behind the scenes on development of the PBM Kawasaki since the Brands Hatch finale.

Byrne said: "I am super excited to get going now and even dropping my kit bag off with the team got me all revved up. I have to wait until Thursday to get on track though so at the same time as being excited this is going to feel like the longest week in the world!

"We are going to this test with something of a hybrid bike to test some new parts so that it gives us a direction for the next tests we have planned. Whilst this first test isn't going to be massively about lap times and bragging rights it is going to be important and I am looking forward to getting out. It is good that we can concentrate on what we need to be working on and get on with the job in hand. We are then aiming to be in a stronger position ready for our next tests when I am sure we will be joined by some of our rivals."

Team co-ordinator Stuart Bland commented: "We have been working hard back at base ready for the first test of the season. There are a raft of improvements including a new exhaust and further updates to the suspension. We have three tests in Spain before the official test at Donington Park as we want to be in the best possible position to keep our number one plate."

The MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship will visit MSV circuits on seven occasions this season. Click here for a list of all events and here to visit the official MCE BSB website.