Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki man Shane Byrne secured a flag to flag victory in the opening race of the MCE British Superbike championship at Oulton Park today.
The 37 year old, who had qualified on pole was in control from the start of the race and was able to resist a late charge from Milwaukee Yamaha rider Josh Brookes to secure his third BSB win from three starts in 2014.
Byrne said: “I was out front, I had a good rhythm and I felt comfortable. Towards the end of the race I could see the gap starting to come down, but there were only four laps to go. I decided to just stay consistent, because I didn’t want to suddenly start pushing really hard and make a mistake. The gap kept coming down though and it was bit close at the end, but we got the job done.”
Josh Brookes cited his slow start to the race as the factor for costing him the race win. The Australian was easily the fastest man on track in the closing stages and broke the longstanding lap record which was set by Ryuichi Kiyonari way back in 2006.
Brookes said: “My bike was working really well at the end of the race but I didn’t feel so comfortable at the start. I lost too much time and we need to work on getting the Milwaukee Yamaha stronger when we’re riding on new tyres and a full fuel load."
James Ellison rode an impressive race to finish third despite riding with a damaged pelvis following his qualifying crash at Brands Hatch two weeks ago. The Lloyds British GBmoto Kawasaki man passed Brookes in the early stages of the race and was in second place until a small mistake saw him run off the track and re-join in third.
Ellison’s GBmoto team-mate Chris Walker was also in the mix early on until a crash ended his podium aspirations.
Oulton Park – Race one results
1. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
2. Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.105s
3. James Ellison (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +6.183s
4. Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) +8.781s
5. Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +13.285s
6. Dan Linfoot (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +19.139s
7. Richard Cooper (Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki) +19.226s
8. James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) +23.030s
9. Jon Kirkham (Tsingtao WK Kawasaki) +23.878s
10. Jakub Smrz (Millsport Ducati) +25.509s