Alex Lowes took his maiden MCE British Superbike win for the WFR Honda squad and himself in dominant fashion, finishing in excess of five seconds ahead of the rest of the field.
Samsung Honda’s Michael Laverty took the holeshot after Lowes blew the start from pole position. The WFR man quickly began to move through the field, however, as he pushed past both Tommy Hill and Josh Brookes into third.
Byrne then stole the lead away from Laverty, who was pushed back a further place as Lowes went ahead of the Irishman. Behind the leading group, reigning champion Tommy Hill was dropping backwards as he struggled to get to grips with the harder rear tyre compound.
Lowes piled the pressure on Byrne and it eventually payed dividends as the PBM man ran wide on the run into Brooklands, dropping back to sixth. Supersonic BMW’s Tommy Bridewell then moved into second behind Lowes and looked threatening.
Lowes didn’t break under the pressure as Byrne did though, breaking clear of the chasing pack and opening out a five-second advantage. Bridewell’s tyres began to lose grip and he dropped backwards, leaving Laverty and Byrne, who came battled through the field, to fight for second. Byrne took it on the last lap, cementing his lead in the Championship to five points over Brookes.
Josh Brookes took fourth after getting the better of James Westmoreland, who put in one of his best rides of the year, and Tommy Bridewell. Swan Yamaha’s Tommy Hill continued to struggle throughout the race finishing in seventh ahead of the Padgetts Honda duo of Luca Scassa and Ian Lowry. Chris Walker rounded out the top ten on his Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki.
Bridewell is on pole position for the second race with Byrne, Lowes and Westmoreland joining him on the front row. Tommy Hill will head the fourth row, giving him a mountain to climb if he is to get back into the Championship.
Grid for race two:
Bridewell (pole), Byre, Lowes, Westmoreland
Burrell, Brookes, M Laverty, Harms