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'Fantastic' home double puts Byrne in Showdown
23 July 2012
Shane Byrne scored his first double victory of the 2012 MCE British Superbike Championship season with a perfect performance in front of his local fans at Brands Hatch on Sunday.
Having qualified on pole, the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider led both 18-lap races from start to finish
After fending off a challenge from Yamaha's Noriyuki Haga and then the Suzuki of Josh Brookes in the opening race, Byrne comfortably controlled the second race to win from Brookes and championship leader Tommy Hill.
With two rounds to go before the start of The Showdown phase, Byrne - like Hill and Brookes - has now booked his place in the top-six title shootout.
The former double champion is just eleven points from reigning title holder Hill and has closed to within three Podium Credits of the Swan Yamaha rider.
"A double victory is always good but to do it at my home circuit, in the sunshine and in front of a big local crowd is fantastic,” said Byrne.
“We knew we had work to do after Oulton Park and the team have worked their butts off to address the problems we had so they deserve this as much as anyone.
“We have scored some good Podium Credits this weekend and it's vital we continue that into Cadwell Park next month as there's still a long way to go in this championship."
The Brands Hatch GP circuit will host the final round of the season - and almost certainly the title decider - on October 14, an event Byrne can now approach full of confidence.
On the other side of the PBM garage, team-mate Stuart Easton was returning to action after missing two rounds following a leg injury.
The Scot claimed an eighth place in the opening race, but then fell from fourth in race two.
"I was reasonably happy with race one after missing a couple of rounds and was running well in the second race when I hit a false neutral and crashed out,” he said.
“It was totally my fault and I'm feeling a bit sore but at least I didn't reinjure any of my old wounds and I'll be fighting fit for Cadwell in five weeks' time."
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