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Shane Byrne has picked up more precious podium credits after resisting the attentions of Josh Brookes for victory at Brands Hatch.

Having started from pole position, though the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider would cede the lead to Michael Laverty initially, he would regain the position on lap two and hold firm to the chequered flag.

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Even so, Byrne was made to work hard for victory, the former champion being challenged initially by a feisty Noriyuki Haga, who had forged his way up to second position to tail his rival by lap seven.

However, when the Japanese rider was unable to find a way past Byrne, Brookes capitalised by dismissing the Swan Yamaha rider on lap 13 to spend the last five laps attempting to harass the Kawasaki rider into a mistake.

Nonetheless, Byrne kept his lines tidy to notch up his third win of the season, while Brookes kept up his tally of podium credits by following him home in second place, less than half a second behind.

Behind them, the final spot on the rostrum looked to be going the way of Haga, only for the former WSBK rider to crash on the final lap at Graham Hill Bend. His misfortune duly promoted team-mate Tommy Hill up to third place, the series leader having to fight back into contention after dropping as low as sixth in the early stages.

Laverty crossed the line in a fairly lonely fourth place, while Tommy Bridewell shrugged off another disappointing qualifying performance to scythe his way up to fifth place, in doing so strengthening his hopes of reaching the title showdown, particularly with Haga and Ian Lowry crashing out.

Chris Walker finished sixth, ahead of Alex Lowes, the youngster flying the flag for WFR Honda after team-mates Graeme Gowland and James Westmoreland crashed.

Behind them, Stuart Easton, Alastair Seeley and Michael Rutter rounded out the top ten, ahead of Barry Burrell, Jon Kirkham, Karl Harris - scoring points on his return to the series - Luca Scassa and Patric Muff.