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A heroic ride from Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne saw the Be Wiser Ducati rider claim a 2nd place finish in the opening race at Assen, after starting from 16th on the grid.

2 crashes on a wet and slippy track hampered Shakey’s qualifying position yesterday, resulting in a Row 6 start back in 16th. But with dry conditions for Race 1, Shakey made an immediate impact on the race – claiming 5 positions on the opening lap alone.

From then on, Shakey continued to slice his way through the field, posting the fastest lap of the race on Lap 4 with a 1:36.984.

By 2/3 race distance, just 0.593s separated the leading 4 riders of Sylvain Guintoli (Bennetts Suzuki), Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki), James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) and Shakey. The 4 riders swapped positions several times in a thrilling race. Ultimately Haslam took the win, but not before Shakey had Ellison into Stekkenwal corner to claim a 2nd place finish. Finishing just behind the winner ensured maximum damage limitation in the championship standings with his championship rival Haslam, while also promoting him to 2nd in the championship ahead of Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha).

John ‘Hopper’ Hopkins had lined on the grid as the top Ducati rider again in 6th. He ran as high as 5th and scored a 9th place finish.

Glenn Irwin qualified in 21st after a poor setup, but made several passes to go on and post a 14th place finish.

Shakey lines up for Race 2 in pole. Hopper starts from Row 4 in 11th and Irwin from the front of Row 5 in 13th.

Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati #67) – 2nd
“We can take a lot of positives from that race. Obviously, the one person I’m focused on is Leon because he’s leading the championship at the moment and getting involved with two guys that aren’t in the Showdown made life difficult but we came through from 16th and ended up 2nd. And we’re on pole for Race 2, should make my life a little bit easier. But the boys are going to be tough to beat and if it was easy we wouldn’t bother doing it. Look forward to Race 2 and hopefully we go 1 better.”