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Shane Byrne needs just a 14th place finish from the final race of the 2012 MCE British Superbike Championship to secure a third career title after wrapping up his second win of the Brands Hatch
weekend ahead of Josh Brookes.
Commanding an 18 point lead over Brookes with just two races remaining, Byrne came into the race knowing a win would be enough to secure the championship if his rival finished any lower than second position.
However, while Byrne did his utmost to put the title out of his rivals' reach by leading from start-to-finish, Brookes's late charge into second place was enough to keep his slim title hopes alive into the final race of the year.
Nonetheless, Byrne will still enter the finale with 23 points in hand over Brookes, the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider requiring a mere 14th place finish to ensure he comes away with the 2012 title.
Indeed, it was a fairly untroubled ride to victory for Byrne as he got the jump off the line to beat Alex Lowes into Paddock Hill Bend, the local rider aided further when team-mate Stuart Easton slotted into second place ahead of the chasing pack.
However, when Easton swiftly slipped behind Lowes, Michael Laverty and Josh Brookes, Byrne's early lead was negated by a safety car period to clear Tristan Palmer's wrecked GBmoto Honda at Paddock Hill Bend.
Nonetheless, Byrne got away well from the restart and steadily began to extend his lead over the opposition, while Brookes found himself heading in the opposite direction when he was overtaken for fourth place by the inspired Barry Burrell.
Following his impressive run to sixth place in the first race of the weekend – his best at BSB
level -, Burrell looked destined to go even better as he not only battled past Brookes, but also scythed his way past Laverty and then Lowes into second place.