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Byrne surprised by pace but ready for big day

Byrne surprised by pace but ready for big day

Byrne surprised by pace but ready for big day

Shane ‘Shakey' Byrne admitted he was surprised by his qualifying pace in the final session for the Cinzano British Grand Prix after lapping under the previous pole record at Donington Park.

Despite his encouraging progress Byrne finds himself down in seventeenth place on the grid, a sign of the increased competitiveness in MotoGP, but says he is confident of a good race after a problem with his qualification tyre.

"Somebody told me that we'd gone faster than pole last year and I couldn't believe we'd gone that fast," commented the. "It seems that no matter what you do, the other guys have got something else up their sleeve and it's tough.

"Apart from that I'm really enjoying the weekend – I know every millimetre of the track so it's just a case of getting on the bike and going for it. To be fair to the team they've done an awesome job, it's working really well. We just had a problem at the end with some chatter on the qualifying tyre which meant I couldn't make much of a difference on my race times, which are pretty good."

With record crowds expected for tomorrow and huge support for Byrne today, the British Superbike Champion admits he is looking forward to what is undoubtedly the biggest day of his career so far.

"The crowd have been absolutely fantastic. To be honest I just thought I'd be mingling into the background like I do at most races but the crowd seem to remember me from last year and the reception as been just the same – even though I was winning races and I'm at the back now!

"I'm sure that will be a big help tomorrow. It's a big day for me, my biggest so far, but I'll just concentrate on my racing, keep my head down and see how it goes."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004, CINZANO BRITISH GRAND PRIX

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