The HM Plant Honda team are gearing up for the final round of the 2011 British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch this weekend as Shane 'Shakey' Byrne still has a mathematical chance of lifting a third title following the three races at his home circuit.
Shakey has had two challenging Showdown rounds, but is confident that the HM Plant Honda team can strike back this weekend in a final chance to become 2011 champions. Shakey, who recently became a father again for the second time, had a brief test at Cadwell Park on Monday with a short session on circuit to make some final improvements ahead of the races at Brands Hatch and admits he won't be going down without a fight. Ryuichi Kiyonari is looking to end his season on a positive note after a difficult year for the defending champion. In the National Superstock 1000 Championship Jason O’Halloran is eager to put in a strong performance on his second round back from injury.
Shakey said: "Brands Hatch is like my back garden so performing strongly there is always important to me as I get so much support. We come into the final three races at Brands Hatch on the back foot after the first two rounds of the Showdown but that's how it is. Nothing short of three race wins will be enough and myself and the HM Plant Honda team will be doing everything we can to achieve that. We had a few laps at Cadwell Park on Monday lunchtime but we utilised the time well and we were able to test a few changes that we didn't have time for at Silverstone. We were only using old tyres but we were not too far off; in fact on one lap we were as quick as one of my race laps from the round there in August. We are taking the positives from that to Brands Hatch this weekend and if we do win the races and something incredible happens then we could still be champions again."
Kiyo said: “I think Brands Hatch will be a good track for the HM Plant Honda team and we have been working hard to make improvements for the final rounds, but I really want results. I don’t want to end the season in the same way as we have at other rounds. It won’t be easy, I know but it is my favourite track and with three races we have a better opportunity to make changes. It has been frustrating but I want good results this weekend for myself and the team.”
Jason said: “I can’t wait to get out on the Grand Prix circuit as I missed the round in August whilst I was still out injured. I came back at Silverstone and unfortunately things didn’t quite work out for us there but we really are ready and fired up for this weekend now. It has been a tough season so I really want to get the best result possible for the HM Plant Honda team.”
Team Manager Havier Beltran concluded: “It is time for the final Showdown and for Shakey it is still mathematically possible for him to win the title; he is down on points compared to the leading pair, but as we saw last season anything can happen. It won’t be easy but the whole HM Plant Honda team is motivated for a good end to the year and we are confident in the package of the Fireblade that we can be in contention for the wins. We hope that this weekend we can resolve the issues that Kiyo has been experiencing in order for him to have a better final round and for Jason in the Superstock class we are confident that he can have a positive end to his season.”