Shane Byrne was expected to take the title at Croft but a massive high-side during the second free practice session on Friday left the champion-elect battered and bruised.
Byrne passed fit to qualifying and then race on Sunday despite heavy bruising and losing two teeth. Both races turned into colossal nail-biters, but the first race more so than latter as the top five in the championship fought tooth and nail for 20-laps.
The race should have been remembered for Leon Camier’s second win of the season, coming from deep in the field to pass everyone in his wake including team-mate and potential champion Byrne.
But instead it will be remembered as the race that Tom Sykes kept his title hopes alive with one of the bravest late braking moves of the year, pushing Byrne back two places to fifth. Byrne was sent into a rage but it did prove that a title isn’t over until a rider has raised the championship trophy.