BSB victory for Shane Byrne at Brands Hatch

BSB action (photo by Double Red)Shane “Shakey” Byrne kicked off his bid to take the MCE Insurance British Superbike crown for a record fourth time in stunning style as he held off the opposition to win both races in the opening round at his home circuit of Brands Hatch.

The Rapid Solicitors rider had bounced back after starting from the fifth row of the grid for the opening race after crashing in qualifying yesterday, but he was up for the challenge and remarkably was running seventh on the opening lap as Chris Walker aboard the Lloyds British GBmoto Kawasaki forged ahead at the front.

Byrne was carving through the pack though and soon had moved to second, closing down Walker at half distance when the race was halted after James Hillier’s Quattro Plant Kawasaki suffered a technical problem dropping oil on the track. On the re-start Walker led briefly before Byrne forced his way ahead to win by 1.615s whilst James Ellison aboard the second Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki ran solidly in third to give the team their first podium finishes in MCE BSB ahead of Gearlink Kawasaki’s Ben Wilson.

Byrne took charge from the start in race two, running ahead of his team-mate Stuart Easton with Walker in third and Ellison in fourth, whilst behind them Josh Brookes was powering his Milwaukee Yamaha into contention. The Aussie who had crashed three times in qualifying had also slid out in the opening race and he was keen to set the record straight.

BSB action (photo by Double Red)BSB action (photo by Double Red)BSB podium (photo by Double Red)Brookes was riding hard to be in third place at two thirds distance and attacking Ellison whilst Byrne continued to lead. However the Milwaukee Yamaha rider hadn’t given up on his chance of victory and Brookes passed Ellison to go second and then closed in on Byrne. On the final lap Byrne had the narrow edge to complete the double, taking his victory tally to 53 in the series and taking the lead in the overall standings.

Byrne said: “This is the perfect start to the championship for me and it really has been a great team effort and I am proud of the boys for the work they’ve done to turn the bike around after the crashes. I’m feeling a bit second hand after two crashes but winning is a wonderful drug, although I’m ready for a day or two off now before Oulton Park!”

Ellison scored his second podium finish of the day in third, this time ahead of former three times title winner Ryuichi Kiyonari who was making his race debut with the Buildbase BMW team. Walker held on to fifth from reigning Motorpoint British Supersport champion Easton in the closing stages.

Byrne leads the championship standings from Ellison and Walker as the action now moves to Oulton Park over the Bank Holiday weekend (3/4/5 May).


Race one:
1: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
2: Chris Walker (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +1.615s
3: James Ellison (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +1.672s
4: Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) +5.639s
5: John Hopkins (Tyco Suzuki) +6.007s
6: Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +6.235s
7: Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) +6.365s
8: Richard Cooper (Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki) +7.328s
9: Jakub Smrz (Millsport Ducati) +7.735s
10: James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) +7.735s

Race two:
1: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
2: Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.138s
3: James Ellison (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +1.785s
4: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) +3.694s
5: Chris Walker (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +5.376s
6: Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +5.724s
7: James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) +10.826s
8: Dan Linfoot (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +11.488s
9: Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) +11.678s
10: Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) +11.908s

Championship standings:
1: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 50
2: James Ellison (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) 32
3: Chris Walker (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) 31
4: Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) 20
5: Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 20
6: Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) 19
7: Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) 16
8: John Hopkins (Tyco Suzuki) 16
9: James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) 15
10: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) 13

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