Samsung Honda's Alex Lowes has won the MCE British Superbike title for the first time following a tense Showdown finale at Brands Hatch.

Lowes finished as the runner-up behind Tyco Suzuki's Josh Brookes, who completed a superb treble with a dominant display in the wet at the Kent track to cement third place overall in the championship.

Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider Shane 'Shakey' Byrne had bravely battled through from 22nd place on the grid to hold second position until four laps from the end, when Lowes made his move and began to edge away from the three-time champion.

Lowes kept his cool to hang on for second to clinch the championship by seven points over Byrne, who finished on the rostrum in third.

Brookes - who had been nine seconds ahead at one point - took the win by 1.185s over Lowes, with Byrne finishing 1.4s behind his young title rival.

Milwaukee Yamaha's Tommy Bridewell made a late charge to finish fourth ahead of team-mate James Ellison, with Jon Kirkham sixth on the Buildbase BMW.

Chris Walker was holding second on the Quattro Plant Kawasaki at the end of the second lap pursued by Kirkham, Dan Linfoot on the Lloyds British GBmoto Honda followed by Lowes and Ellison with Byrne now into eighth and making eye-catching progress on the Kawasaki ZX-10R.

With Brookes in a class of his own, Kirkham was holding second but a tense title battle was beginning to materialise behind with Byrne passing Linfoot to take fourth, putting Lowes in his sights.

On lap six, Lowes went underneath Kirkham for second at Surtees but Byrne followed suit, demoting Kirkham to fourth ahead of Linfoot, Walker and Josh Waters on the Halsall Racing Kawasaki.

A lap later Byrne made his move, taking second place from Lowes at Surtees as the top three went clear of Kirkham, who was later forced to retire on lap 11 with machine trouble.

Byrne appeared to have the pace to keep Lowes at bay but the Honda rider began to mount a comeback once he found his rhythm and set the fastest lap of the race to close in on his championship opponent.

With seven laps remaining, Byrne ran wide at Druids and allowed Lowes to close right onto his rear wheel as the pair engaged in a tense battle in the treacherous conditions.

Lowes launched his assault for victory at Graham Hill Bend on lap 16, diving under Byrne to swoop into fourth and although he had a bit of a moment coming onto the start/finish straight, the 23-year-old looked to have more in reserve.

Byrne shaped up for one final attempt on the last lap, but an error at Druids forced him to run wide and Lowes gained a further advantage on the Honda.

It was Byrne's last throw of the dice and Lowes dug in on the final lap to take the honours after a season-long confrontation with Byrne, who was denied the opportunity to win a record fourth title by his young adversary.

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