BSB: Byrne secures fourth championship with two victories at Brands Hatch

Shane Byrne has taken the British Superbike crown in the second race of the triple header weekend at Brands Hatch with a double victory as Ryuichi Kiyonari sat out with a displaced collarbone.

Byrne has rewritten history

Photo: MCE BSB
Saturday saw drama hit the MCE British Superbike paddock with broken bones, crashes and slanging matches resulting in the War For Four battle continuing through to the final day of the season. At a wet Kent circuit Howie Mainwaring won race one head of Tyco Suzuki’s Josh Waters and Jon Kirkham for Halsall Racing. 
Buildbase BMW announced Kiyonari would not participate in warm-up or race two on Sunday morning resulting in Byrne only needing to finish in fourth position to take the crown for the fourth time in his career. 
Waters got the lead off the line but it was Dan Linfoot and Kirkham who got the wholeshot into Paddock Hill Bend as Ellison shot into third position. On the second lap of 20 Linfoot got into the lead on his Quattro Plant Kawasaki, as fellow Kawasaki rider Byrne was down in tenth. 
There was now a group of top five developing fighting for the victory as Byrne was slowly making his way through the field, getting up to seventh by the fourth lap. The Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider was soon able to move into a championship winning position by the eighth lap and was now locked in a battle for the top podium position.
The second half of race one was all about Byrne securing the race win, but race one winner Mainwaring wasn’t letting the lead go and a battle ensued for the win. In the closing laps Milwaukee Yamaha’s Josh Brookes had a surge looking as if he could fight for second position however he failed to make the gap up and Byrne won the race and as a result the title ahead of Mainwaring and Ellison. 
Dry conditions finally greeted the British Superbike riders for the final race of the weekend, and the final race of the season which saw ever controversial Josh Brookes start from pole position.

Brookes got a strong start off the line however it was champion Byrne who got the lead going into Paddock Hill bend following a stunning start from third position on the grid. By the fourth lap Byrne led the way ahead of Brookes, Bridewell and Ellison with nothing between the quartet.

Australian Brookes was able to briefly get past Byrne, however the champion was able to get him straight back and Brookes slipped down to third by the fifth lap. The Milwaukee duo of Bridewell and Brookes kept in-touch with the leading duo as Byrne had a rear wobble out of Surtee’s breifly gifting the lead to Ellison on lap 8.

Saturday’s race winner Howie Mainwaring was sitting comfortably in sixth position however he crashed his Quattro Plant Kawasaki on the 12th lap at Paddock Hill Bend which saw advertising debris be blown onto the track, which led to the safety car be deployed on lap 12 for two laps.

In a last ditch attempt for Brookes to get on the podium he went underneath Ellison with five laps left on the clock however Ellison was able to get him straight back on the Lloyds British GBmoto and crossed the line in third position: “I said before that we were really pushing a win. It’s been a tough season with the crash, the middle of the season was tough to come back, the end of the season was tough but the pole positions and podiums it was good. I think the teams progressed as the seasons come on but I haven’t been racing with them as much as but these last few rounds I’ve noticed the bikes had more power.” 

Despite the red flags cutting the race two laps short, Tommy Bridewell secured second position in the final race of the season and took third position off team-mate Brookes in the championship standings:“It was a phenomenal race but it was a hard race. I knew what I had to do and it was basically go out and try and win the race beyond James and Shakey and it was hard work, I just hung in with everything. I gave everything today, I just had to trust the bike and let it do what it had to do. Its no secret we lose some speed on the straights but we make it up in other areas.”

Finally, Bridewell commented on securing third in the championship:“To beat Josh in the championship I couldn’t ask to beat a better person, there’s no love lost there.”

Quadruple champion Shane Byrne won his second race of the day, and emphasised how special this historic championship is for the 38 year old:“I was desperate to win that race at all costs as it only seemed fitting with the circumstances we had to win it in. I thought a double would do it just and I worked really really hard. This one rewrites history, it’s special. The first one you’re absolutely over the moon with, the second one proves the first one wasn’t a flook, the third one matched everyone else and this one rewrites history.”

Click on the links for a full list of results in race one, two and three. 

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