Shane Byrne has clinched an unprecedented sixth MCE British Superbike championship after a dramatic overhaul of Leon Haslam at the triple-header final round at Brands Hatch.

The defending BSB champion has produced a 33-point deficit turnaround on Haslam at the final round with two wins and an eighth place at the Kent circuit to claim the 2017 crown ahead of the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider, who crashed out of the final race with brake failure.

It marks the first successful defence Byrne has produced of a BSB title to add to his previous five championships in potentially the most dramatic of circumstances having been a relative outside shot heading into the final round.

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After a disastrous start to the 2017 campaign when concussion ruled him out of the season opener at Donington Park, it took until race two at Oulton Park for the Be Wiser Ducati rider to claim his first win of the season.

A double third place at Knockhill ensured he continued his climb up the BSB riders’ championship before a run of four consecutive wins at Snetterton and Brands Hatch saw him take the championship lead for the first time in 2017.

Byrne’s charge somewhat stalled between Thruxton, Cadwell Park and Silverstone with just two third places and a fourth place heading into the BSB Showdown before underwhelming results at Oulton Park lost him the lead to Haslam.

A second and a fifth place at Assen left Byrne losing further ground to Haslam for the final round and a 33-point deficit to overturn but a near-perfect race weekend with two wins saw him storm to a dramatic title climax as Haslam crashed to allow Byrne to ease off in the final race to take the title.

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Nasty crash for Leon. Not having a front brake going into a corner at that speed. Ouch.

Some mechanics/technicians at JG Speedfit need to be given their P45 as that was a total meltdown by the JG Speedfit crew. First race handling problems, second race clutch problem and then third race no front brake! A total A grade £uck up by the JG team.

Congratulations to Byrne, a six time champ and class act.

What a sad indictment of the state of UK National racing; a collection of has beens, never were's and never wills, stifling the progresion of some of our better youngsters to the International Stage. Small fish, smaller pond.

I feel very sorry for Haslam. Really. The guy deserved better backup/ luck. I sincerely hope he can recover from losing out this season

 

Congrats to Byrne, rode brilliantly all weekend.  Gutted for Haslam though, losing such a big lead because of repeated mechanical failures plus having a few more breaks for the collection must be a sickener.

@paul norris

Who are they stifling? BSB isnt the international gateway anymore. If these youngsters were absolutely serious about the world stage they'd be working towards CEV or GP juniors.  Until the WSBK and BSB rules are unified or 'close to', international teams won't have interest. 

I actually see the old guard as gatekeepers - any young up and comer able to beat them should have something to show as opposed to just beating their peers.

Byrne really ramped up the pressure with that first win, I can't recall Haslam looking so flustered after a race. It looked like that pressure got to the team as much as, if not more than Haslam today.