Shakey seals race one victory to close the gap to Haslam at Brands Hatch 1Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne closed Leon Haslam’s advantage in the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings ahead of tomorrow’s title-deciding final two races at Brands Hatch.

As the race got underway, Byrne had a slow start off the line as Josh Brookes, Christian Iddon and Haslam stole the advantage. On the second lap Iddon fired the Tyco BMW into the lead at Paddock Hill Bend as Byrne closed in on Haslam.

A lap later though and the race was red flagged when Dan Linfoot suffered a technical problem which subsequently caused several riders to crash out of contention with Jake Dixon, Sylvain Guintoli, Michael Rutter and Martin Jessopp all involved.

On the restart Iddon led the pack after a lightening start ahead of Haslam, Byrne and Michael Laverty with Brookes, Jason O’Halloran and James Ellison in close contention.

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Byrne though was on the attack and he made a move into second place and then had his sights set on the Tyco BMW ahead of him, passing Iddon to hit the front of the pack. The pair edged out an advantage, but behind Michael Laverty was forced to retire out of the battle.

Brookes was getting into a rhythm and was making moves through the field, forcing his way through into third place and gapping the battle for fourth behind him.

It was a fierce battle for supremacy but Haslam was not giving up without a fight and a typically determined performance saw him hold off Ellison and O’Halloran. Peter Hickman held seventh place, just ahead of team-mate Lee Jackson and Bradley Ray. Richard Cooper completed the top ten for Buildbase Suzuki.

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Race 1:

  1. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)
  2. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +1.799s
  3. Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +2.196s
  4. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +8.724s
  5. James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +8.785s
  6. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +8.994s
  7. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +14.568s
  8. Lee Jackson (Smiths Racing BMW) +17.260s
  9. Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +17.305s
  10. Richard Cooper (Bennetts Suzuki) +17.576s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Brands Hatch Race 1:

  1. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki)  625
  2. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 604
  3. Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) 596
  4. Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) 558
  5. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 558
  6. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 536

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Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne
Be Wiser Ducati
Race 1 winner
“The bike’s been working well all weekend and pole position set me up nicely for the race. Everything was working well and when I saw the time I’d done, I was more than happy so I didn’t need to do anything else. In the re-started race, I got away at the front and it’s all I can do to try to win races.

“With the run of bad luck we’ve had, I’m in a situation where I’m so far behind Leon, the pressure’s off and I can just go out there and focus solely on racing. Christian pushed me hard but towards the end, I lowered my lap times to finish the race strongly.

“I haven’t won a race since July, which is a long time ago, and it’s almost like I’ve forgotten how to do it but I’ve got a great team behind me at PBM and with two races tomorrow, I’ll be trying to do exactly the same again.”

Leon Haslam holds the advantage but Brookes and Byrne ready to attack at Assen