Shane 'Shakey' Byrne becomes 2017 MCE Insurance British Superbike Champion!
Shane 'Shakey' Byrne has been crowned the 2017 MCE Insurance British Superbike Champion, successfully defending his title for the first time and in the process further cementing his name into the history books with a sixth Championship victory.
Haslam walked into the weekend favourite, however Byrne plugged away and bagged a race one victory and began to decrease the 32-point lead Haslam had created. With a fourth-place finish Haslam was still very much in control, but with 50 points still up for grabs it was all still very much to play for.
Master tactician Byrne knew that his role in the weekend was a relatively simple one - finish as far ahead of Haslam as possible and hope he makes an error. Fortune was on his side when Haslam suffered a bike issue in race two and dropped back to a tenth-place finish, sending the Championship down the wire into the final race of the season - with just two points separating Haslam and Byrne.
One of the duo simply had to finish ahead of the other to win the Championship, however the battle was cut short on lap six when Haslam suffered a brake failure and was forced to jump off his Kawasaki at 172mph, suffering a broken left ankle, right wrist and right thumb. Byrne stayed out of any trouble for the remainder of the race and cruised past the line in eighth place - enough to gain the vital points and in the process secure the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship.
Following the race, Leon Haslam was carried onto the grid whilst Shane Byrne was celebrating to congratulate him - a poignant moment to end the season. The rivals embraced and shared a few words of congratulations and commiserations before Haslam headed to the medical centre.
From all of MCE Insurance, congratulations to Shane Byrne on the Championship victory and cheers to a fantastic year of racing - as always!
15.10.2017 - Big Ed