Brands Hatch BSB: Byrne reigns supreme with double win
Shane Byrne has established himself as the man to beat in 2014, taking a double victory in the opening round of the MCE British Superbike championship by leading from start to finish in the second race of the day at Brands Hatch.
Byrne was able to lead off the line after his time from race one bumped him from thirteenth to second on the grid, and despite early efforts from Chris Walker and James Ellison he was able to pull clear.
However, a lap timer error meant that the chasing pack were able to close in, with teammate Stuart Easton, the GBmoto pair of Walker and Ellison, the Buildbase BMW of a resurgent Ryuichi Kiyonari and Josh Brookes, who crashed out of the opening race, all joining the fight.
But Byrne was able to continue to lead from the front, and a late challenge from Brookes was thwarted in the closing stages by backmarkers.
James Ellison emerged ahead of his teammate to take the final podium spot, as Kiyonari and Walker made it past Easton for fourth, fifth, and sixth.
Byrne now holds an 18 point lead in the title going into the next round at Oulton Park in two weeks time.
He said afterwards: "In terms of the races everything has been perfect this weekend. The second race was pretty tough and the lap times weren't as fast, but I had a strategy where I wanted to get away as I knew Josh would come through like I had done in the first race as we have been similar on lap times all weekend. I figured I needed to get out the front and see what we could do, but the lap timer on my bike packed up, not making excuses, but it showed me the same lap time for six or seven laps and I thought there is no way I am that consistent! I hadn't realised they were reeling me back in and I was thinking 'this isn't in the script, this isn't my plan' but Josh held second and I tried to not make any mistakes. Fortunately it panned out and fingers crossed we can take it to them again at Oulton Park."