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Shane 'Shakey' Byrne played a waiting game as the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider pounced in the closing stages to take victory from long-time leader Josh Brookes in the opening MCE British Superbike race at Knockhill.

Byrne shadowed Aussie Brookes, who surged into an early lead, and made a decisive move three laps from the finish, eventually crossing the line to win by a second from the Tyco Suzuki rider.

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The defending champion had first attempted to take the lead on lap 25 at the hairpin and there was contact between the pair as Brookes moved back to the front.

Byrne hit back again and this time made the pass stick on the 27th lap, opening a slight advantage to deny the Aussie by 1.069s after 30 laps.

Ryuichi Kiyonari returned to the BSB rostrum in third place as the Samsung Honda rider capitalised on a fall by his team-mate Alex Lowes to take the final podium position, five seconds behind the leading pair.

Lowes had been holding third place until lap 14, when he was involved in a high-side at the hairpin.

Behind Kiyonari, Ulsterman Keith Farmer finished fourth on the second of the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki machines, 16 seconds in arrears, with Chris Walker a few seconds back in fifth on the Quattro Plant Kawasaki.

Buildbase BMW's James Westmoreland held off the attention of James Ellison on the Milwaukee Yamaha YZF-R1 to complete the top six at the Scottish track.

Westmoreland's team-mate, Jon Kirkham, had been holding fourth until a fall at Scotsman four laps from the end ruined his chances.

Lowes set the fastest lap of the race in 48.949s on his fourth lap.