Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki’s Shane Byrne is the 2014 MCE British Superbike champion after taking a convincing win in the second race at his home track of Brands Hatch this afternoon. The Lambeth born rider now has four historic, record breaking titles to his name.
His main title rival, Buildbase BMW’s Ryuichi Kiyonari did not take part in the second race as he is still suffering from a collarbone injury, and all Byrne had to do was to finish in fourth – but he did one better and took the victory from GBmoto Kawasaki’s James Ellison and Quattro Plant Kawasaki's Howie Mainwaring.
Initially it was Linfoot who got the holeshot from Ellison and Mainwaring, with the trio of Kawasaki’s battling it out for the lead. On the third rotation going into Paddock Hill Bend Mainwaring edged ahead of Ellison to go second, setting the fastest lap in the process.
Then it emerged the battle of the Quattro Plant Kawasaki’s for the lead, and on the fifth lap Mainwaring overtook Linfoot going into the first corner, only for the Northerner to fight back almost immediately to go into the front again, only for it to change again.
Ellison had a resurgence of form and going into Druids went into second – getting the better of Linfoot. But Byrne was also on the charge and made his way up to fourth on lap eighth, then up to third, overtaking Linfoot to put himself in a provisional podium position and the title.
At the halfway point Byrne powered through the grid and was up to second, just behind Mainwaring, then propelled himself up to first for the first time today, and stormed on ahead, on lap ten of 20. The leading trio of Byrne, Mainwaring and Ellison pulled away from Linfoot and Kirkham and had a one second advantage over the rest of the field.
But going into Druids Mainwaring made a clean move on Byrne to re-take the lead, only for the triple champ to go back in front into Pilgrims drop. Meanwhile Brookes was down in ninth then found some extra pace and soared up to fourth after making a move on Easton, Linfoot and team-mate Bridewell with four laps remaining.
Byrne pushed on ahead with Mainwaring and Ellison battling it out for second, the taller of the two riders had a moment going into Pilgrims allowing Ellison to go into second. But in the end no one could catch up with Byrne and he took the race win and the title, with Ellison and Mainwaring making up the rostrum.
Brookes, Easton, Bridewell and Halsall Racing’s Jon Kirkham completed the top seven, with Quattro Plant Kawasaki's Dan Linfoot, Buildbase BMW’s James Westmoreland, and Tyco Suzuki’s John Hopkins completing the top ten.
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