Shane Byrne kept his 2017 MCE British Superbike title hopes alive with a commanding victory in the opening race at Brands Hatch while rival Leon Haslam could only manage a fourth place finish.
It didn’t all go Byrne’s way, however, as the Be Wiser Ducati got off to a characteristically bad start as the race got underway. Tyco BMW’s Christian Iddon took an early lead from Josh Brookes with series leader Leon Haslam close in tow.
However, a red flag after Dan Linfoot’s Honda sprung a water leak causing Sylvain Guintoli, Michael Rutter, Martin Jessopp and Showdown contender Jake Dixon, Byrne was given a second chance.
Getting a much better start, he slotted in behind Iddon and Haslam before picking the pair off to take the lead by lap three.
From there, he’d control the race to take his first victory since July earlier this year.
Iddon benefitted from some big changes to his BMW S1000RR to take second place with Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha’s Josh Brookes third.
Haslam had been down in fifth at one point but managed to overcome McAMS Yamaha’s James Ellison for fourth towards the end of the race.
Jason O’Halloran completed the top six for Honda ahead of Peter Hickman while Lee Jackson, Bradley Ray and Richard Cooper rounding out the top ten.
The result sees Byrne move back into second in the standings and reduce Haslam’s lead to 21 points ahead of tomorrow’s decisive two races.
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