Brands Hatch Grand Prix: Byrne wraps up 2014 BSB title in style

In a year that has seen him off the podium on just three occasions, Shane Byrne notches up a timely ninth win to seal the 2014 BSB title.
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Shane Byrne has wrapped up a record-breaking fourth MCE British Superbike Championship title in comprehensive style with a fitting ninth win of the 2014 season.

Despite a DNF in the first race, the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider was always well positioned to seal the title in the final round after his sole title rival was ruled out of action following an injury in free practice.

Indeed, though Kiyonari had withdrawn from the second race, he still held hope of making it out for the third encounter should Byrne suffer another dramatic exit.

However, this time Byrne would not put a wheel wrong, even if a poor start from eighth on the grid initially gave him work to do to get back up into the top four position he needed to seal the inevitable.

With Byrne ending the opening lap down in tenth place, it was Dan Linfoot that initially led the way from the fast-starting James Ellison, with John Kirkham, pole sitter Josh Waters and surprise race one winner Howie Mainwaring following closely.

With Linfoot holding firm out front from Ellison initially, the chasing pack would shuffle with Mainwaring lifting himself to third, before skipping ahead of Ellison for second into the Paddock Hill Bend on lap four.

Indeed, if Mainwaring's win in race one could be justified by his prowess in wet weather, his performance in the dry second race proved it was no fluke, the Quattro Plant Kawasaki carrying his form all the way to the front as he jumped ahead of team-mate Linfoot into Paddock Hill Bend again on lap five.

Though Linfoot would return the favour just a few corners later, Mainwaring made a more decisive pass on lap eight to put himself back in front.

Byrne, meanwhile, was steadily picking his way up the order and just as Mainwarinng had moved up into first place he was third by the end of the lap ahead of Linfoot, who would proceed to fade out of contention from here.

With momentum on his side, Byrne quickly relieved Ellison of second place and promptly nosed ahead for the first time on lap ten. Undeterred, Mainwaring struck back on lap 13 of 20, but Byrne was back ahead by the end of the lap, a decisive pass that would see him scold into a lead he would take to the chequered flag.

A fitting way to complete a record-breaking fourth BSB title, though the circumstances of Kiyonari's absence casts inevitable shade over the success, his achievement of nine wins and 22 podiums in a hugely successful campaign cannot be underestimated in a title-winning context.

Behind him, Mainwaring and Ellison continued their tussle for second and third, with Josh Brookes joining the fight late on, the Australian coming alive in the final laps having ran at the bottom end of the top ten for much of the race.

A mistake by Mainwaring on the exit of Surtees would ultimately hand second over to Ellison, who duly completed his eighth podium of the year, but Mainwaring was just able to resist Brookes to score another well-deserved podium on a remarkable final weekend of the year for the 27-year-old.

With Brookes in fourth, Tommy Bridewell sixth and Linfoot fading to eighth, the trio are classified in that order overall now and split by six points.

Completing the top five, Stuart Easton took a potentially decisive step towards the 2014 BSB Riders' Cup for finishing seventh overall, ahead of Bridewell, Kirkham and Linfoot, with James Westmoreland and John Hopkins rounding out the top ten.

Behind them, Peter Hickman, Jakub Smrz, Patric Muff, Julien Da Costa and Filip Backlund completed the points' paying positions, ahead of pole sitter Waters, the Tyco Suzuki rider suffering in the dry.

Tagged as: Kawasaki , Byrne

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Shane Byrne Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki -
Howie Mainwaring Smart, Anvil Hire Yamaha []
Broc Parkes, ePayMe Yamaha, [Credit:]
Luke Mossey, Quattro Plant Kawasaki [Credit:]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki, BSB [Credit:]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit:]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki, BSB [Credit:]
Broc Parkes, ePayMe Yamaha, [Credit:]
Luke Mossey, Quattro Plant Kawasaki [Credit:]
Michael Laverty, Tyco BMW, BSB [Credit:]
Ryuichi Kiyonari, Smiths BMW [Credit:]
Christian Iddon, Tyco BMW [Credit:]
James Ellison, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit:]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit:]
Jason O`Halloran, Honda Racing [Credit:]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki, BSB [Credit:]
James Ellison, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit:]
Luke Mossey, Quattro Plant Kawasaki [Credit:]

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