At the same time, Byrne and Harris were involved in a rather controversial clash. The Airwaves Ducati rider had been battling back into contention as he attempted to slip up the inside of Harris at Shell Oils Hairpin when the Yamaha rider ran wide. However, when Harris came back onto his line, Byrne was already there and the two made contact, the consequence being Harris was forced to underside off the circuit into another retirement.
The shake up left Sykes ahead of Ellison now, with Byrne now chasing Haslam for third. Although the former Ducati rider resisted for some time, Byrne finally made a move stick on lap 14 at Lodge. Giving Byrne just six laps to catch and pass Ellison, he cut the gap down remarkably quickly but just ran out of time to deny him another podium.
The race was all about Sykes though, 'The Grinner' recording Rizla Suzuki's first victory in two years when Byrne won at Knockhill in 2006.
Behind Byrne in third, Haslam finished a lonely fourth, while Simon Andrews achieved his objective of a top five finish in fifth.
Crutchlow recovered to a rather unsatisfying sixth as his Oulton Park demons came to haunt him again, while Mallory winner Michael Rutter was a quiet seventh when the much anticipated rain failed to arrive.
Billy McConnell scored a solid result for MSS Discovery in eighth, while the Laverty brothers rounded out the top ten, Michael leading Daily Star Cup winner John.
Leon Camier, meanwhile, will not take part in the rest of the weekend after deciding he wasn't fit enough to compete following his fall in warm-up.