Byrne Victorious, Easton Impressive at Oulton Park

2012-05-08 02:04
Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki riders Shane Byrne and Stuart Easton emerged from round three of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship in third and fourth place respectively following a successful weekend at Oulton Park.

Londoner Byrne overcame a fuelling problem which saw him relegated to 11th in Sunday's race held over from Brands Hatch earlier in the season before bouncing back with a superb second place finish in today's opening 18-lap encounter in damp conditions.

But better news was to come for the third race of the weekend when the former double BSB champion clawed his way through the field to take the lead with a couple of laps remaining which he held to the flag to take his first win of the 2012 season.

Easton, meanwhile continued his remarkable return following serious injury last year and despite a lowly grid position for the Brands Hatch race, the Scotsman from Hawick fought his way through to finish ninth but it was in Sunday's races that he really impressed.

After another spirited ride through the field in the opening race, Easton claimed a fine fifth place to grab a front row slot for the day's second outing. In that race, Stuart grabbed the lead and remained there for most of the race before eventually being overhauled but gamely hung on to claim an emotional third place at his favourite track.

The result sees the best ever result for the Penrith based Paul Bird Motorsport team in BSB which bettered their second and third place finish with Tom Sykes and Shane Byrne at Donington Park in 2007.

Ulsterman Keith Farmer was unable to take part in the Metzeler National Superstock 1000 Championship race after crashing in qualifying meaning he couldn't add to his two victories in the opening two rounds. However, with his nearest rivals not scoring too well, remarkably he maintained his lead in the series, just dropping five points going into next weekend's double header at Donington Park.

Shane Byrne: "We had an issue with fuelling in Sunday's race and that was a bit of a disaster but we made some changes for today's first race and it didn't help that it was damp. I was controlling the first race but had no answer for Chris Walker when he came past but in race two, I was having that one. It's great to win again and even better to be just 10 points off the lead, whilst racking up the podium credits."

Stuart Easton: "It's been a good weekend and I'm especially pleased to get my first podium of the season. I thought if I could make a break, I may be able to hold them off but as the race progressed, I started to fade as I'm still not bike fit. I'm really pleased to see Shakey take the win and our first and third place finish was the best for the team, and with both Shakey and me inside the top four of the standings we are well placed going into Snetterton."

Paul Bird: "Things weren't looking too good on Sunday but the team pulled it round and we have had a great day today. This is the best result for the team and I'm proud of both Shakey and Stuart, they both deserved that. Keith was unfortunate but still holds the series lead in the Superstock 1000 series so all in all, it's been a good weekend."

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship race 1 (8 laps)
1 Tommy Hill (Yamaha)
2 Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha)
3 Josh Brookes (Suzuki)
4 Alastair Seeley (Suzuki)
5 Tommy Bridewell (BMW)
6 Michael Laverty (Honda)
9 Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
11 Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship race 2 (18 laps)
1 Chris Walker (Kawasaki)
2 Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
3 Josh Brookes (Suzuki)
4 Tommy Hill (Yamaha)
5 Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
6 Alastair Seeley (Suzuki)

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship race 3 (18 laps)
1 Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
2 Tommy Hill (Yamaha)
3 Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
4 Josh Brookes (Suzuki)
5 Tommy Bridewell (BMW)
6 Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha)

Championship standings (after 3 rounds)
1 Hill 98pts
2 Brookes 92
3 Byrne 88
4 Easton 58
5 Lowry 52
6 Seeley 49

Source: Cartersport Motorsport Media

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