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Battle-scarred Byrne plucks victory from jaws of defeat

6 October 2013

Shane 'Shakey' Byrne reclaimed the lead of the MCE British Superbike Championship with an astonishing victory over Alex Lowes in race two at Silverstone.

Samsung Honda rider Lowes, who took the spoils in race one, looked to have sewn up another double as he managed to keep Byrne at bay on the final lap, but the Rapid Kawasaki Solicitors rider edged ahead on the charge to the finish to snatch the win on the line by 0.012 seconds in a photo-finish.

Byrne now holds a lead of one point over Lowes ahead of the final round of the Showdown at Brands Hatch in two weeks' time.

Tommy Bridewell impressed again with another rostrum finish in third place ahead of team-mate James Ellison, with Tyco Suzuki pair Josh Brookes and PJ Jacobsen completing the top six.

Byrne, chasing a record fourth BSB title, took the lead of the race after starting from pole and appeared to be making a break on the opening laps on the ZX-10R, but Lowes closed in and hit the front on the sixth lap, with Bridewell third after squeezing ahead of Brookes.

James Ellison survived an incredible near-miss when he was almost high-sided off the Milwaukee Yamaha, somehow managing to climb back aboard the YZF-R1 after travelling some distance with both legs hanging over the right-hand side of the bike.

Lowes and Byrne opened a gap as the title favourites disputed the lead, with Bridewell holding station ahead of Brookes, who was dicing with his young Suzuki team-mate PJ Jacobsen for fourth.

Byrne, walking with the aid of crutches after suffering a hip injury during a big spill in free practice, made a move on Lowes on lap nine and stayed there for two laps until the Honda rider assumed the top spot once more.

Bridewell looked to be reeling in the leaders in the closing stages but dropped off the pace as Lowes and Byrne upped the tempo.

It seemed as though Lowes had made a decisive break on the 12th lap, but Byrne dug deep and closed right in on the rear wheel of Lowes' Fireblade to set up another winner-takes-all final lap.

With Byrne breathing down his neck, Lowes was defending his lines on the last lap and never put a foot wrong as he looked on course to extend his championship lead.

However, Byrne held a tighter line through Woodcote to mug Lowes on the line by 0.012s, moving back to the series summit ahead of his home round at Brands on October 20.

Bridewell was three seconds behind in third, with Ellison passing Brookes on the final lap for fourth. Series rookie Jacobsen was sixth.

Jon Kirkham took seventh on the Buildbase BMW ahead of Matteo Baiocco on the Rapido Sport Ducati.

James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) and Jakub Smrz (Padgett's Honda) were the top ten.

Noriyuki Haga finished 14th on the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki ahead of Freddy Foray on the Samsung Honda.

CLICK HERE to view Race 2 results


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