Shane Byrne has clinched a fifth MCE British Superbike championship title with one race to spare by finishing sixth just behind title rival Leon Haslam in fifth.

In a dramatic second race at Brands Hatch GP won by James Ellison, Byrne was involved in a race-long tussle with Haslam and a train of riders in the midfield. With the title decider swinging between this race and the final race of 2016 Byrne moved up to sixth place on the penultimate lap directly behind Haslam in fifth.

With sixth place Byrne held on to a 25-point cushion to secure the title with one race to go to take a fifth BSB crown.

In a tense drying race Byrne initially slipped backwards through the running order, going as low as 12th at one stage, as he gauged the track conditions with one eye on the title. Haslam, who knew he had to win both of the final races to stand any realistic chance of the title, jumped past his title rival and up to eighth place before the pack began to spread out.

With a brief rain shower threatening to complicate the equation it looked like the title would go down to the final race as the standings altered with every change of position. But with the sun bursting through both of the top two began to progress up the order with Haslam moving to sixth and Byrne seventh with three laps to go.

After Christian Iddon's Tyco BMW expired on the penultimate lap it dropped both riders up a place but it wasn't enough for Haslam to close the points deficit to force it into the final race.

Despite being matched equally on race wins (seven apiece) and largely keeping pace with each other for the season, Byrne ultimately made the fewest mistakes with Haslam's DNFs in race two at Donington Park and race one at Brands Hatch in the Showdown costing the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider.


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