Charging Byrne spoils Haslam hopes.

Shane Byrne denied Leon Haslam his first victory of the season in the latest round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship after a stealthy ride up the order following a poor start.

Although he spent much of the race allowing the HM Plant Hondas of Haslam and Cal Crutchlow to battle it out at the front, Byrne left it late to make his play for victory, passing Haslam with two laps remaining and scoring his sixth win in eight races.

It wasn't straightforward for Byrne though after he was bundled down from first to sixth by the first corner, with James Ellison instead getting the jump on his rivals to lead through Redgate and the Craner Curves.

It was Haslam though who was on the immediate move, making a superb start from seventh on the grid to latch onto the back of Ellison up to McLeans and slipping through into the lead of the race. Losing momentum, Ellison slipped behind Michael Rutter, Michael Laverty and Crutchlow by the end of the first lap.

Despite his strong start though, Rutter would spend the next few laps falling back through the field, being passed by Laverty and Crutchlow on lap two and then again by Ellison, Leon Camier, Byrne and Karl Harris by lap five.

Up to third now, Crutchlow quickly made it a provisional 1-2 for the HM Plant team with a bold move on Laverty at Coppice on lap three, the two-time race winner going on to shadow his team-mate for the majority of the race.

Having lost ground after the first laps, Ellison settled into a rhythm to get back up to third at the expense of Laverty, the Honda rider being followed through by Camier and Byrne, who proceeded to keep a watching brief in fourth and fifth as the top five streaked away from their rivals.

Although the quintet were rarely separated by more than a second as they entered the second half of the race, only Byrne looked capable to making a sustained challenge up the order as he protected his bike's tyres.

He made his first move, on team-mate Camier, on lap twelve before passing Ellison almost immediately after when the Hydrex Bike Animal rider made a mistake at the Esses to allow both Airwaves Ducatis through.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
67. Shane Byrne Airwaves Ducati, Ducati 1098R F08, 35. Cal Crutchlow HM Plant Honda, Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade
Jason O`Halloran, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Josh Brookes, Anvil Hire Yamaha, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Luke Mossey, JG Speedfit Kawasaki, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Peter Hickman, Smiths BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tommy Bridewell, Team WD-40 Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Bradley Ray, Buildbase Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Sylvain Guintoli, Bennetts Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
James Ellison, McAMS Yamaha [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Alastair Seeley, Tyco BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Lee Jackson, Smiths Racing BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Haslam, Byrne, Mossey, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]

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