Be Wiser Ducati’s Shane Byrne bagged his first MCE British Superbike win of the season in race two at the Brands Hatch Indy circuit this afternoon.
It was not an easy race for the multiple champ as he had to battle through the pack and stormed his way past Buildbase BMW’s Richard Cooper and the new series leader, JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam, with the trio completing the rostrum at the Kent track.
Out of the top three Haslam was the only racer to opt for the harder front tyre compound, compared to Byrne and Cooper who went for the softer front, with all the riders deciding to race on the softer rear tyres.
But it was a race filled with technical difficulties for many, including JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s James Ellison. The Cumbrian was leading the race when he experienced an issue with his ZX-10R and had to abandon the race.
At first it was pole-man, Quattro Plant Kawasaki’s Luke Mossey who got the hole-shot from Ellison, Cooper and Haslam. But on lap eight Tyco BMW’s Michael Laverty’s S1000RR engine went bang spectacularly on track and he quickly made his way off the circuit whilst in fifth overall, putting a dramatic end to his race weekend. The safety car then came out, but moments before that happened Ellison overtook Mossey at the Cooper Straight.
Mossey then went wide a rotation later and Cooper then took advantage to go up into second, and then started to chase down Ellison. But the JG Speedift man then suddenly experienced a technical problem and came to an abrupt stop at Clearways on lap fifteen.
With Ellison out of contention for the win it pushed Cooper in to the lead followed by a resurgent Haslam, Mossey and Byrne. The four-time champ was not going to let the Quattro Plant Kawasaki rider get the better of him and at Paddock Hill squeezed his way into third on lap twenty.
Byrne then had Haslam as his next target and at Clark Curve cut underneath Haslam to go into second with three laps remaining, and a lap later the Ducati rider soared underneath Cooper going into the Clark Curve to edge his way into the front, and on the penultimate lap pulled away.
Elsewhere Mossey had a big moment and slipped from fourth to tenth on the final lap, just ahead of ePayMe Yamaha’s John Hopkins. His team-mate Stuart Easton finished inside the top ten in ninth, with Jackson, Mainwaring, Seeley and Buchan the last of the points finishers today.
Bennetts Suzuki’s Tommy Bridewell had to settle for a respectable fourth place with Dan Linfoot winning the battle of the Honda Racing Fireblade’s and ended race-two ahead of his Australian team-mate, Jason O’Halloran who rounded off the top six.
Tyco BMW’s Christian Iddon has slipped to third in the overall standings, after his seventh place finish, with JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Peter Hickman in eighth.
In a repeat of the first race, there were a few fallers out on the Indy track. It was a case of déjà vu for Honda Racing’s Jenny Tinmouth, who crashed again but this time at the Cooper Straight and was declared OK at the track side. Be Wiser Ducati’s Glenn Irwin had an issue with his Panigale and stopped with a third of race distance completed at the Cooper Straight.
There were a few riders missing from the starting grid after sustaining injuries this weekend. Anvil Hire TAG Racing’s James Rispoli was ruled unfit after crashing in race-one at Druids and had to sit out the final event.
Smiths Racing’s Jakub Smrz, Team WD-40’s Jack Kennedy and Bennetts Suzuki’s Ryuichi Kiyonari all experienced crashes during either a free practice session or qualifying and had not fully recovered from their injuries to race today, and they are now aiming for a return to action at the next round in Scotland.