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Byrne sweeps the board at Brands Hatch

22 July 2012

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Shane Byrne has sent out a warning to his MCE British Superbike Championship rivals by securing a fine double victory over Josh Brookes and Tommy Hill at Brands Hatch.

The Rapid Solicitors' Kawasaki rider was barely headed over the weekend, qualifying on pole position and claiming victory in the opening race of the day.

It was a result he would repeat in race two as he once again rebuffed the attentions of Brookes, Byrne's performance around his home circuit proving particularly noteworthy since the circuit will host the final round of this season's Title Showdown.

Once again beaten to the first bend by Michael Laverty, Byrne quickly regained a lead he wouldn't lose to the chequered flag, the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider doing his utmost to keep Brookes at bay when the Australian launched his attack at the midway point.

Indeed, when Brookes's efforts came to nothing, he eased back, allowing Byrne to win by just over 1.5secs, while Hill retained his championship lead by following home in third place.

Mirroring the top four result of race one, Laverty was fourth to strengthen his hopes of making the Title Showdown, while Noriyuki Haga bounced back from his final lap fall in race one to claim fifth place on the second Swan Yamaha.

Alex Lowes completed a solid brace of finishes in sixth place, while Tommy Bridewell's charge to the finish line would see him snatch seventh place from Ian Lowry by 0.001secs.

WFR Honda duo Graeme Gowland and James Westmoreland rounded out the top ten, with a blanket finish of 11th to 15th going in the order of Alastair Seeley, Karl Harris, Barry Burrell, Jon Kirkham and Patric Muff.

In the overall standings, Hill continues to lead by 11 points, though Byrne is only three podium credits adrift now with two rounds of the opening phase remaining.

In the battle for the closely contested fifth and sixth places, Bridewell continues to hold fifth on 124 points, with Haga sixth on 113 points. Lowry, Chris Walker – who suffered a fall – and Lowes are seven, 21 and 21 points adrift of Haga respectively.

Stuart Easton's hopes, meanwhile, have taken a potentially crucial blow after he crashed out of fifth place early on.


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