Byrne does Brands double
Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne has done the double at Brands after a scintillating second race.
BSB regulars Byrne and John Reynolds made the race their own after early leader Sean Emmett was black-flagged for jumping the start.
It took just a couple of laps for the pair to establish themselves as likely contenders for the win, but for much of the early race they were part of a seven-way fight, involving HM Plant teammates Chris Walker and James Toseland, Fila Ducati’s Ruben Xaus and Neil Hodgson, and Suzuki’s Gregorio Lavilla.
Gradually the pack stretched out, with Toseland slotting into third place. Ruben Xaus made an attempt to close the gap, but couldn’t quite keep up with the three Brits. Neither could Chris Walker who crashed out on lap 11, leaving a whole in the group.
By the closing stages it was Byrne leading from Reynolds, with Toseland dropping off to eventually finish two-and-a-half seconds back. Try as he might, Reynolds couldn’t find his way to the front, leaving Byrne to take his second win of the day.
Fourth was Ruben Xaus followed by teammate Neil Hodgson, taking a safe fifth. Gregorio Lavilla finished sixth, with Pier-Francesco Chili seventh, Regis Laconi eighth, Yukio Kagayama ninth, and Leon Haslam tenth.
1) Byrne. 2) Reynolds. 3) Toseland. 4) Xaus. 5) Hodgson. 6) Lavilla. 7) Chili. 8) Laconi. 9) Kagayama. 10) Haslam. 11) Gramigni. 12) Ellison. 13) Clementi 14) Borciani 15) Sanchini. 16) Pedercini 17) Fuertes.
DNF: Rutter. Borja. Walker. Medd. Mrkyvka. Tortoroglio. Martin. Pedersoli. Emmett. Corser. Haydon. De Matteis.
Shane Byrne has taken the win in the first Superbike race at Brands Hatch in front of a record 120,000 people on what has turned out to be a sun soaked Sunday after the weekend’s torrential downpours.
John Reynolds got the holeshot and lead for the first six laps but Byrne worked his way through the field to take the lead and the two pulled away as they fought it out.
By lap 12 they were nearly four seconds ahead but something went wrong with Reynolds’ Suzuki GSX-R1000 and he was forced to pull in to the pits at the end of the lap.
As Byrne continued to extend his lead alone the battle for second saw HM Plant Ducati rider Chris Walker sandwiched between the Fila Ducatis of Ruben Xaus, in second, and Neil Hodgson, in fourth.
But lap 14 saw disaster for Xaus as his bike started to smoke badly from the oil collector box and he was forced to pull out, shaking his head angrily.
Walker only held second for a short time as Hodgson moved up to chase down Byrne, but the world championship leader couldn’t close the gap leaving the British Superbike champion to win the race by more than six seconds.
Regis Laconi started the race in third but as the two Fila Ducatis moved up he was forced down the standings but stayed with the breakaway group and finished the race in fourth closely followed by Sean Emmett, James Toseland, Gregorio Lavilla, and Michael Rutter.
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