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  • Shane Byrne clinches 52nd career BSB triumph at Brands Hatch Indy
  • Veteran Chris Walker finishes on BSB rostrum for 49th time
  • Ryuichi Kiyonari stalls Buildbase BMW on line, narrowly avoids disaster

Shane 'Shakey' Byrne began his quest for a fourth MCE British Superbike title with victory in race one at the Brands Hatch Indy circuit, which was restarted over 12 laps.

The initial race was stopped on lap 18 of 30 when James Hillier's Kawasaki suffered a technical failure, with Chris Walker leading from Byrne.

Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki star Byrne went underneath Walker on the brakes at Paddock Hill Bend at the beginning of the second lap after the re-start, although Walker hit back to retake the lead at Druids.

Byrne made a pass stick on lap four and never looked back, closing out a comfortable win to take his 52nd BSB victory.

Walker held off his Lloyds British GBmoto Kawasaki team-mate James Ellison for the runner-up spot, with the top six completed by Gearlink Kawasaki's Ben Wilson, Tyco Suzuki's John Hopkins and Stuart Easton on the second of Paul Bird's Kawasakis.

Ryuichi Kiyonari was fortunate to avoid being struck by the charging pack after dramatically stalling his Buildbase BMW on the line in the original race. The Japanese rider eventually finished 16th overall after the restart.

Milwaukee Yamaha's Josh Brookes was a faller before the red flags came out in the initial race.

Veteran racer Walker was dejected after leading for much of the race, though Byrne - who started from row five following a spill in qualifying - had been slowly reeling him in when the race was stopped.

Australian star Brookes had taken the lead on lap eight but slid off at Druids, handing the advantage straight back to Walker.

Ellison overhauled Hopkins for third on lap 14 as Walker held a two-second advantage over Byrne.

However, with 17 laps completed, Hillier's machine suffered engine trouble, depositing oil on the track and the race was red flagged.

A 12-lap sprint was declared and after a considerable delay while the oil was cleaned up, pole man Walker shot into the lead from Byrne, Gearlink Kawasaki's Wilson, Hopkins and Easton.

Byrne took the lead into Paddock Hill Bend at the end of the opening lap but ran wide at Druids, allowing Walker back into the lead.

The front pair began to pull out a gap and Byrne made a decisive pass on Walker into Paddock Hill Bend on lap four, putting the hammer down to open an advantage which he then controlled to the finish, winning by 1.615s.

Walker came under pressure from team-mate Ellison as the Kawasaki riders became embroiled in a battle for second.

Ellison, though, was unable to find a way through and Walker held on for the runner-up spot with Wilson finishing an impressive fourth ahead of Hopkins and Easton.

Tommy Bridewell came through to finish seventh on the Milwaukee Yamaha, with the top ten completed by Richard Cooper on the TAG Racing Kawasaki, Jakub Smrz (Millsport Ducati) and Buildbase BMW's James Westmoreland.


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