Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki’s Shane Byrne ended his MCE British Superbike season on a high after doing the double today at Brands Hatch, to end what has been an eventful year for the newly crowned quadruple champion.
Byrne had already won the title after a win in race two, and with his main rival Buildbase BMW’s Ryuichi Kiyonari out with injury it left him with a clear path to make history today.
Milwaukee Yamaha’s Tommy Bridewell finished ahead of his team-mate Josh Brookes to take the third spot in the overall championship standings. The Englishman finished the last race in third, just behind GBmoto Kawasaki’s James Ellison.
Brookes had to settle for fifth, with Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki’s Stuart Easton snatching fourth – and in doing so the Rider’s Cup accolade to boot. At first it was Byrne who got the holeshot ahead of Brookes and his Devizes swearbox team-mate, Tommy Bridewell. But it soon turned into a four-way battle for the win with Ellison joining the party.
Brookes did edge ahead going into Druids on the second lap, only for Byrne to hit right back. Brookes lost some corner speed coming out of Clearways and lost out on second to Ellison and Bridewell. Byrne had a big moment coming out of Surtees allowing Ellison to take the lead on lap eight. By the halfway point Byrne re-took the lead going into Hawthorns.
Quattro Plant Kawasaki’s Howie Mainwaring was riding high in sixth, but crashed out at Paddock Hill Bend, but managed to walk away from the incident as his bike propelled into the air and hitting the wire fencing at his adoptive home track – bringing out the safety car and yellow flags as debris from the advertising board made its way onto the circuit.
With six laps remaining the safety car made its way back to the pits, with Byrne pulling away with Ellison hot on his heels. Then Brookes was eaten up by Bridewell and Easton. But with four laps remaining the red flags came out putting an abrupt end to the final BSB race of the year, after crashes involving Zanotti and Ponsson at Druids.
At the flag Brookes held on to fifth, followed by fellow Showdown rider Linfoot, Halsall Racing’s Jon Kirkham and Tyco Suzuki’s John Hopkins. RAF Reserves Honda’s Peter Hickman and GBmoto Kawasaki’s Chris Walker rounded up the top ten.