After leaving Oulton Park somewhat deflated, Shane Byrne responded in perfect style at Brands Hatch, taking a strong win in the opening race on Sunday. The 2003 and 2008 Champion overhauled the fast starting Michael Laverty and then resisted a late challenge from Josh Brookes to take his third win of the season.
Brookes, fourth on the opening lap, set a series of fastest laps to move up to second on lap 13 and it looked like he had the pace to overhaul Byrne too but he never got the opportunity to attempt a pass and had to settle for second.
Second for much of the race was Noriyuki Haga and although pushed back to third by Brookes, he looked to have the final podium spot sewn up until he crashed out at Graham Hill Bend on the final lap. That handed the rostrum position to team-mate Tommy Hill who suffered with clutch problems in the early stages of the race and had to fight his way through the pack.
Laverty faded to fourth with Tommy Bridewell doing the opposite as he came through from 14th on the grid to 5th and thus maintain his 5th place in the Championship. Chris Walker took sixth with Alex Lowes, Stuart Easton, Alastair Seeley and Michael Rutter completing the top ten.
1 Shane Byrne (Kawasaki)
2 Josh Brookes (Suzuki)
3 Tommy Hill (Yamaha)
4 Michael Laverty (Honda)
5 Tommy Bridewell (BMW)
6 Chris Walker (Kawasaki)