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Assen BSB: Byrne wins race one as disaster hits Hill

Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki's Shane Byrne romped to the first MCE British Superbike race win of the day at Assen, taking advantage of a bizarre crash the befell reigning champion Tommy Hill on the sighting lap.

It is still not exactly clear what happened to the Swan Yamaha man but he said that as he came up from the Geert Timmer Chicane, another team's mechanic ran across the track, caught his front brake lever which locked the front and down he went, fortunately uninjured.

Hill did manage to start from pitlane after a footpeg was replaced but was back to the garage after a few minutes, complaining of bad vibration from the YZF-R1. He did manage to set the fastest lap of the race however, and will start from pole position in race two this afternoon.


"I was coming through the back of the grid to go to my position. It was pretty busy there with people running around there with the bikes, the grid got so busy here. This mechanic from another team didn't realise that I was there and ran into me and hit me. He jammed the brake lever on," said Hill.

"I went over the bars there was nothing that I could do about it. The bike went down and snapped the rear set off the frame but the team did a great job to do a quick fix and get me out there to get in a lap time for the second race. I'm not happy, I crushed my crown jewels a bit, but shit happens."

Byrne, meanwhile, was involved in a good scrap with Michael Laverty, Jakub Smrz, Josh Brookes and team-mate Stuart Easton as the lights went out, taking second from the Czech rider on lap one and he was followed through by Tyco Suzuki's Brookes.

A lap later, Byrne was past Laverty and tried to pull a gap as third-placed Brookes made a mistake out the back of the circuit and dropped back to fifth. The Bringelly man was pushing so hard, he was on the grass across the chicane but pulled back to a podium spot.

Poleman Alex Lowes gambled on the harder SC2 Pirelli and dropped back down the order as the lights went out but the WFR Honda man waited for the tyre to come to him and he picked his way through the order. At the front, Laverty went back past Byrne on lap eight at Be Bult.

It wasn't long before the still-injured Byrne was back past though, and he pulled an immediate gap on Laverty who was beginning to struggle with grip on the Samsung Honda. Lowes passed Brookes on lap 11 and then Laverty for second not long after but it took the Australian a bit longer to pass.

Brooked then had a gap to bridge as Lowes pulled away but he managed it and made the pass with two laps to go and secured second with Lowes completing the podium.

Padgett's Honda's Lucsa Scassa carved his way past both Laverty and the second Swan Yamaha of Noriyuki Haga for fourth while Tommy Bridewell also pushed past the Irishman for sixth place. James Westmoreland took his WFR Honda to eighth while the fast-starting Stuart Easton had a trip across the gravel which pushed him down to ninth. Robbin Harms completed the top ten on his Doodson Tunstall Honda.

Click here for results


Grid for race two:

Hill (pole), Haga, Laverty, Byrne

Brookes, Lowes, Easton, Bridewell

Championship points:


Shane Byrne 548

Josh Brookes 545

Tommy Hill 535

Michael Laverty 523

Alex Lowes 518

Tommy Bridewell 510

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