Zoe Burn’s Burning Rubber column from Sunday Sun, July 19 2015
Shakey Byrne’s off rival to secure pole
SHANE ‘Shakey’ Byrne took pole by just one thousandth of a second over rival Josh Brookes at Brands Hatch yesterday afternoon.
Aboard the Penrith-based PBM Kawasaki, Byrne pulled out a hot lap of 1.25.331mins early on in the final qualifying session, which he later admitted he thought was ‘a bit scrappy’.
While it looked for a moment that the Milwaukee Yamaha rider could be about to snatch the place away on his final lap, he ended up just 0.001secs of Byrne’s time and had to settle for second.
It means championship leader Byrne will start from pole, and he admitted he was happy just to be on the front row.
“I set that lap early in the session and to be honest I thought it was pretty scrappy,” he said last night. “When I came round saw it was a 25.3 I thought ‘if a lap that scrappy is a 25.3 then I’m sure I can go faster.
“I pushed on the next one but made a few mistakes and then when I went again I was pushing and pushing but it didn’t come. In the end that lap was enough and I’m really, really pleased because it’s taken a bit of time to get up here this weekend.
“I’m not that fussed about pole, it’s really just about being on the front row here but I’m certainly happy to have taken it,”
Brookes starts from second with Tyco BMW’s Michael Laverty third, while the second row will be made up of Richard Cooper in fourth, Hawick’s Stuart Easton fifth and Cumbria’s James Ellison in sixth.
But it wasn’t a great day at work for North Yorkshire’s Dan Linfoot. The Honda rider from Wetherby struggled during yesterday’s session and was knocked out in the first session. He will start today’s opening race from a lowly 23rd place.
“It’s not the right weekend to be off the pace,” he said. “I’m not sure if this is a result of the injury or the crashes at Knockhill but I’m just not able to get where I want to be. I can see on the data I’m not working the bike to get the best out of it so I need to just keep chipping away step by step and get back to where I was at the start of the season.”
And Newcastle’s Joe Burns continues to bravely soldier on with his own machine. Burns is continuing to improve as he develops his Joe Burns Racing Kawasaki, and will line up today in 28th spot.
Points will be worth pain for injured teen Chrissy
SUPERSTOCK 600 rider Chrissy Rouse is today set to ride through the pain of a shoulder injury as he bid to take a decent points haul at Brands Hatch.
The Burnopfield teenager arrived at the Kent track still sore after dislocating his shoulder in a training incident a week ago, but was determined to battle on this weekend for the seventh round of the season.
The 19-year-old posted a series of decent laps during Friday’s practice session, and was lucky to avoid hurting his shoulder further when he was taken out by another rider in the afternoon’s first qualifying session.
But for yesterday’s second session, he was unable to find the pace he badly needed, and as a result starts this afternoon’s 14-lap race around the GP circuit from 14th.
“I really pushed hard in that second session but no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t better my lap time out there,” he told Burning Rubber. “I ended up knocking a bit of time off my previous best ever lap around here but it wasn’t enough.
“We’re so close but I’m still not where I want to be, and it means I have a lot of work to do at the start of the race. I need to make sure I get away well and see if I can get through without getting held up so I can get up with the front pack and start to mount a challenge from there.”