Be Wiser Ducati’s Shane Byrne is the new MCE British Superbike champion, after finishing race two in sixth, just one place behind title rival, JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam at Brands Hatch.
But with Haslam’s crash yesterday it meant that Byrne had a 27 point advantage going into the second race, and he had done enough today to clinch an historic and record breaking fifth title.
But it was JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s James Ellison who took his first victory of the season with a dominating lights-to-flag performance. It was also a day of first’s for ePayMe Yamaha’s John Hopkins, who bagged the first podium for his team and his debut rostrum of the year to finish in second.
JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Peter Hickman added to his earlier race one win from yesterday, to make it on to the podium once again by finishing in third, with Honda Racing’s Dan Linfoot completing the top five.
At first it was Ellison who got the hole-shot, but the best start had to go to Haslam who started on the eighth row and was up to fourteenth on only the first lap and was three places behind Byrne.
But then Haslam dropped back five places as he went wide at Hawthorns, and then had it all to do again. Further up the pack Hopkins was edging ever closer to Ellison at the front, with Iddon in tow. All the riders decided to opt for slicks with Haslam and Byrne deciding to ride with the harder rear Pirelli tyres.
There were a few incidences out on track, including Billy McConnell jumping off his bike at Druids on lap five. Meanwhile Haslam paced ahead of Byrne and at Paddock Hill went up to eighth after a move on Smrz on lap six of twenty. But a rotation later the Czech Republic rider snatched back the place from Haslam.
Now the Smalley rider had fellow Showdown rider, O’Halloran as his next target, but he was five seconds ahead on the half way mark. With five laps left Byrne gained a place on Mossey to go into tenth, but then Haslam made a move on Smrz to snatch back a place. But the Be Wiser rider also overtook Smrz and then started chasing down his title rival.
On lap seventeen Haslam had caught up with Irwin and O’Halloran and at Clearways Haslam passed the rookie to make his way near the Fireblade, then Haslam went ahead at Dingle Dell.
Meanwhile at the Cooper Straight Tyco BMW’s Christian Iddon had a technical problem, whilst in third. But the drama was happening further down the grid, as the battle for the championship
heated up but at the flag the points difference was just too big as Haslam crossed the line in fifth with Byrne in sixth. Irwin, Bridewell, O'Halloran, Mossey, Srmz, Seeley, Jackson, Parkes and Kiyonari were the last of the points finishers.