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Sittingbourne's BSB rider Shane Byrne loses title lead with two rounds to go

By KentOnline reporter

Shane Byrne’s British Superbike Championship Showdown campaign got off to a poor start – thanks to a misty visor.

Sitingbourne rider Byrne lost the lead in the standings to Leon Haslam after he could only finish ninth and seventh at Oulton Park. He is now third in the series - 23 points behind Haslam - with two rounds to go.

Shakey qualified his Ducati in second place for race one in Cheshire but after dropping to fourth visibility proved a problem when his visor began to mist and he slipped down the order.

Shane Byrne suffered a disappointing weekend at Oulton Park Picture PSP Images

Shane Byrne suffered a disappointing weekend at Oulton Park Picture: PSP Images

There were no such problems for Haslam, who took the flag ahead of John Hopkins and Josh Brookes.

Starting race two from the fourth row, Byrne was up to fifth place by lap five. However mistakes, combined with a loss of grip, meant seventh was as good as it got. Dan Linfoot held off Haslam to take the win, with Bradley Ray third.

Byrne said: “It’s a bit difficult to find the words at the moment and after having three poor rounds, I was feeling really positive coming into Oulton Park, especially after finishing first and second here in May.

“We had a wet warm-up but I was quick and thought the race would be OK but after about three laps of the race, I was really struggling to see.

"I don’t know what caused it but I couldn’t see a thing and when I saw 10 laps to go on my pit board, my heart sank.

“I tried everything to clear the visor but ended up ninth while a poor lap time gave me a poor grid position for race two. I knew what I needed to do and got my head down but when you try hard like that, you end up making mistakes, which is what I did.

“I’m not even going to look at the points table but all I know is that things can change quickly in bike racing and this is far from over.”

The penultimate round of the championship is at Assen on September 29-October 1.

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