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Byrne bounces back for Croft win
15 May 2011
Shane Byrne bounced back from his race one disappointment to claim a comfortable second British Superbike victory of the season at Croft, regaining the lead of the series in the process.
The HM Plant Honda rider was looking to make amends after a mechanical issue forced him out whilst leading the first race, Byrne stamping his mark by marching to the front early on and never looking back.
Winning by almost two seconds, despite cruising during the final laps, Byrne's victory nudges him back ahead of John Hopkins in the points' standings.
With Byrne well ahead of the competition, the battle for second occupied much of the attention, with Gary Mason initially holding down the position before being passed by his MSS Colchester Kawasaki team-mate Stuart Easton.
Indeed, it was a charging ride from the Scot, who finished sixth in race one, as he held on to finish in second position for his third podium finish of the season – one that keeps him well in the hunt at the forefront of the standings too.
In third, John Hopkins completed his second podium finish of the day, the American fending off the attentions of Suzuki counterpart Josh Brookes during the latter stages.
Loris Baz completed a good points' haul in fifth, ahead of Tommy Hill, who put in a brave ride to finish in sixth place and keep his points ticking over.
Despite Hill's ride, it was an ultimately frustrating day for Swan Yamaha after Michael Laverty was involved in a collision with race one winner Jon Kirkham on the opening lap. The Northern Irishman attempted to go up the inside of Kirkham through Sunny Out, but the pair tangled and crashed heavily into the air barriers.
Though fortunately not seriously injured, it was a disappointing end to Kirkham's breakthrough day, while Laverty leaves Croft having scored no points.
Elsewhere, Mason faded to seventh, ahead of Michael Rutter and Tyco Honda duo Peter Hickman and Tommy Bridewell.
Further back, Alex Lowes won the EVO class again in 11th overall, while Ryuichi Kiyonari's disastrous weekend was concluded with him finishing in 15th and scoring a single point.
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