Archive for the ‘HONDA RACING’ Category
The HM Plant Honda team missed out on the British Superbike Championship title this year, but at Brands Hatch yesterday (Sunday) Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne put in a sensational performance to celebrate a double race victory to end the season on a high for the team.
In the second race of the weekend on Sunday morning, Shakey got off to a flying start from the front row as he moved into second at the first corner but quickly took the lead and continued to head the field until the chequered flag. Kiyonari meanwhile finished in sixteenth place in the second race of the weekend.
In the final race of the season on Sunday afternoon, Shakey again demonstrated the impressive pace of the HM Plant Honda Fireblade to secure the final win of the year by 4.434 seconds, which secured him third place in the overall standings. Kiyo just missed out on a top ten finish in eleventh place and finished sixth in the championship overall.
The National Superstock 1000 Championship race was unfortunately cancelled following a crash that caused the race to be red flagged and Jason O’Halloran was therefore unable to complete the final race of the year.
Shakey said: “That win in the first race of the day race felt like I had just won the championship! We gave it everything at the weekend and I wanted nothing less than two race wins on Sunday. We had a good start but in the first laps I didn’t do a very good job of avoiding the damp patches and I had a few moments - in fact more than I think I have had in my whole career! I didn’t know who was behind me but I knew I wasn’t prepared to let them through as I wanted that win badly. The second win was great for me and the team but at the same time I felt a bit empty as all that hard work and great wins but for no championship title.
“After the first race of the day I didn’t initially realise I couldn’t still win the championship, but then the boys said to me just get out there and enjoy it and that’s what I did. Every lap I kept thinking why did Donington and Silverstone go so wrong? I was desperate to achieve the last two wins of the season and on Sunday we won the battle but we didn’t quite manage the war. The double win was a great result for the HM Plant Honda team for all their hard work all season. Missing out this year means I have something to come back for next year and I will certainly be throwing some grenades then!”
Kiyo said: “It has been another difficult weekend for me and I am disappointed that I couldn’t have a better result to end the season. We have worked hard and I need to thank the HM Plant Honda team for their support to try and help me improve over this year.”
Jason said: “I was really looking forward to the final race of the season as we really wanted to end on a high for the HM Plant Honda team, but unfortunately it wasn’t possible. We had been improving all weekend and I was feeling confident for the race, but I just want to thank the HM Plant Honda team for their support this season, particularly when I was injured.”
Team Manager Havier Beltran concluded: “Shakey did a fantastic job by taking the double win at Brands Hatch and he couldn’t have done any more. At the beginning of Sunday the championship was realistically unfortunately out of reach so all he could do was end the season with two victories and that is exactly what he did and it was a classy performance from him and we couldn’t have asked for more.
“It has been a difficult season for Kiyo; with him the HM Plant Honda team has won three BSB titles and scored 43 race wins which makes him the most successful rider in BSB history. We want to thank Kiyo for the successes we have celebrated together over the years. He will always be part of the Honda family and we wish him all the best for the future, in whatever he decides to do, as he will not be returning to the HM Plant Honda team in 2012.
“For Jason it was disappointing that the race was cancelled and he was unable to end the season with a result and full race but we obviously want to send our best wishes to the riders involved in the accident that caused the stoppage. We are now already looking ahead to winter preparation for next season where we will be looking to come back even stronger.”
The HM Plant Honda team are aiming for a winning return when the British Superbike Championship arrives at Oulton Park this weekend for the seventh round. Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne still leads the title standings, whilst Ryuichi Kiyonari is aiming to repeat his winning performance from earlier in the season at the Cheshire track.
Shakey leads the overall standings by 19 points and after losing out on the second race win of the weekend at Snetterton he is determined to make amends, whilst Kiyo returns from Japan following a test ahead of the Suzuka 8 Hour race and is targeting a repeat of his win at the Cheshire circuit back in May. In the Superstock 1000 Championship Luke Jones will make his debut with the team as he deputises for the injured Jason O’Halloran.
Shakey said: “Oulton Park is a track I have mixed feelings about because I really like the track but earlier in the season we did struggle a bit there and at the time I was so happy to have taken a third and fourth place. Let’s not forget though that we have made big steps forward since then so I am feeling pretty excited about the races this weekend. After Snetterton I am really pumped to go back out there and take another win for HM Plant Honda.”
HM Plant Honda’s Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne just missed out on a podium finish at the seventh round of the British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park in the single race as heavy rain ended the event prematurely.
Shakey had a flying start to settle into second place behind title rival John Hopkins, but on the opening lap he took the lead and led until the fourth lap when he dropped back to second. He then came under pressure from Tommy Hill and with a lack of rear grip he dropped to third where he remained until the final lap when Michael Rutter made a move on the final corner of the last lap. Byrne took a strong fourth place, but as closest title rival Hopkins crashed out he was able to extend his advantage in the standings to 32 points. Kiyo meanwhile struggled in the conditions and he was only able to salvage 15th place.
The second BSB race has been rescheduled to the August Bank Holiday event at Cadwell Park.
In the National Superstock 1000 Championship Luke Jones was eager to move up the order in the race after qualifying 23rd on the grid as he continued to improve his pace throughout the weekend. He was able to move up the order in the opening laps and was soon inside the top 15, but as he had a couple of movements on track he dropped to 18th and the race was red flagged after the fourth lap and the result declared. Following the race two riders were excluded and Luke took 16th.
The HM Plant Honda team celebrated their six victory of the British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch as Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne secured victory in the second race of the weekend which he followed up with a third place in the final race of the day to secure his position in the end of season Showdown.
In the second race of the weekend Shakey was running fourth on the opening lap but moved up the order with a determined ride which saw him pass title rivals Tommy Hill and John Hopkins to secure his fourth win of the season. In the third race Shakey looked set to challenge for a double victory but despite a vibration in the rear tyre he was able to return to the podium in third place. Ryuichi Kiyonari meanwhile had a challenging weekend; scoring twelfth in the second race but put in a strong third race to move up the order from his fourth row start to finish sixth. In the Superstock 1000 Championship Luke Jones was forced to retire from the race with a clutch problem, which prematurely ended a positive weekend with the HM Plant Honda team.
Shakey said: “If anyone had an idea on how tough it had been for us at the start of this weekend then they would know how much the win meant for myself and the HM Plant Honda team. Yesterday we had drama after drama and it was just one of those days but we were on the front row for the third race which was the main thing. Tommy (Hill) and I had a great battle and it was very similar to the first round we had here at Easter. We both stayed up which was the main thing as we were a bit on the edge at times. I was happy to be back on the podium again in the third race for HM Plant Honda and the team worked so hard to turn things around from Saturday through to today. In the final race the bike developed a vibration in the rear towards the end of the race but I desperately wanted another podium finish, but at the same time third was better than a crash. All credit to the HM Plant Honda team for their hard work this weekend and I know we should make some steps forward before the next round at Cadwell Park when the three of us will no doubt be fighting again for those wins.”
The HM Plant Honda team celebrated another race victory in the sixth round of the British Superbike Championship at Snetterton as Ryuichi Kiyonari took his second win of the season in the final race of the day.
In the opening race Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne was running third before a safety car period and when the race resumed he moved through to eighth at Brundle on John Hopkins. He retook the position and Shakey then held a strong third place. Kiyo meanwhile took a fifth place finish, setting the fastest lap to put him on pole position for race two.
The second race was another frantic tussle as Kiyo got a flying start from the pole position to move second on the opening lap as Shakey tucked in to fourth before the red flag on lap eight. On the restart Shakey was third and Kiyo fourth by the end of the first lap with Shakey moving second ahead of Josh Brookes before closing in on race leader John Hopkins on the penultimate lap. Shakey pulled an impressive tight line through Coram to take the lead, but on the final lap Hopkins tried to pass into Oggies with the pair colliding and when Shakey rejoined the track he was relegated to fourth. Reigning champion Kiyo was third on the final lap after he had also moved ahead of Brookes on the sixth lap and when Shakey and Hopkins collided he stormed into the lead to take his first win since Oulton Park earlier this season.
HM Plant Honda’s Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne endured a dramatic qualifying session at Thruxton today ahead of the fourth round of the British Superbike Championship when the title leader crashed out in the first session which means he will start tomorrow’s opening race from 33rd on the grid. Ryuichi Kiyonari improved his pace this afternoon and he was able to qualify on the second row in seventh position.
Byrne had been second in combined free practice times after setting the pace on the opening day but he had completed a single lap before he crashed at the Club Chicane. Byrne suffered just cuts and bruises and is now determined to fight his way through the field in tomorrow’s opening race as he bids to maintain his lead in the overall standings. Kiyonari is also feeling confident of a strong performance tomorrow after making some positive changes to the HM Plant Honda Fireblade that has made him more comfortable.
In the Superstock 1000 Championship Jason O’Halloran will start from the third row of the grid in ninth place following today’s second qualifying session. He is feeling positive ahead of tomorrow’s race that he has the pace to challenge for a podium finish for the team.
Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne secured his second victory of the season at the third round of the British Superbike Championship at Croft today as he took a commanding lead in race two to win and maintain his lead in the overall standings at HM Plant’s home round.
In the opening race of the day Shakey had been leading the race when engine failure forced him to retire, however the HM Plant Honda team worked hard between the races and in race two he proved his pace by leading the race and edging an advantage over his title rivals to victory. Shakey, the only rider to have won two races so far this season, now leads the standings by three points.
Ryuichi Kiyonari meanwhile had a difficult end to his weekend as he opted for wet tyres in the opening race and as the track dried he was classified 25th. In the second race he started from the seventh row and worked his way through to 15th after having a challenging weekend with set up at the bumpy Yorkshire circuit.
In the National Superstock 1000 Championship Jason O’Halloran claimed his second podium finish of the season as he took advantage of a good start from sixth on the grid to run third on the opening lap. He was able to make a determined move on Adam Jenkinson to move second and then he bid to close the early lead of Tristan Palmer. His second place means HM Plant Honda maintain third place in the overall standings ahead of the fourth round at Thruxton.