Shane Byrne returned to winning ways to clinch his 78th MCE British Superbike victory after holding off Anvil Hire Yamaha’s Josh Brookes in the opening race at Snetterton.
After taking the lead on lap five, Byrne controlled the race from the front, responding to the chasing pack when needed to maintain his lead with the fastest lap of the race on lap 12.
However, it was JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam who took the lead in the early stages, despite still riding injured from his crash at Knockhill two weeks ago.
Having made a breakthrough in qualifying, Ellison moved past Haslam and into the lead by the end of the opening lap. The McAMS Yamaha was matching Byrne’s pace with O’Halloran and Brookes behind them when disaster struck with yet another technical issue ruling him out of the race.
At the mid-way point Brookes made a move on the Honda of O’Halloran to take second and upped the ante as he attempted to chase down race leader Byrne.
However, three consecutive fastest laps wouldn’t be enough for Brookes as Byrne responded to keep the Aussie behind.
O’Halloran kept hold of third place despite a late attack from Haslam, with Dan Linfoot and Jake Dixon rounding out the top six.
Peter Hickman and John Hopkins were seventh and eighth with the Suzukis of Bradley Ray and Sylvain Guintoli rounding out the top ten.
It was disaster for championship leader Luke Mossey, who retired from the race with brake issues early in the race after his team had to re-build his ZX-10RR following a crash in warm-up. His first DNF of the year sees his series lead drop to 17 points ahead of Haslam and Byrne.
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