MonsterMob Ducati's Shane Byrne stormed to his first ever double victory in the British Superbike Championship at Thruxton yesterday to take a firm grip on the title chase.

The 26 year old Kent rider beat defending champion Steve Hislop in the opening encounter before repeating the feat ahead of main championship rival Michael Rutter in race two to leave the Hampshire circuit 41 points to the good at the quarter distance stage.

In race one, 'Shakey' took the lead from fellow Ducati rider Rutter on lap three before pulling away from the field to win by 4.8 seconds in the 21 lap race aboard his Ducati F02. Pole setter Byrne's cause was aided further by Hislop outpacing Rutter on the final lap.

In race two, Byrne took the lead on lap seven and went on to dominate the race once again to take victory, this time by 2.7 seconds from Rutter to complete his first ever double win in his fifth year in the premier class.

A delighted Shakey said afterwards: "I am pleased with that. A massive thanks to Birdy, Phil, my crew chief and everyone in the team. It's a good weekend for MonsterMob."

Team mate, Supersport rider Stuart Easton made it three out of three by scoring his first win of the season when he romped to a superb start to finish win on his 748 Ducati.

The 18-year-old Scot made easy work of the 20 lap race, taking the lead on the first lap to win by 10.6 seconds from nearest rival Karl Harris (Honda). Stuart also set a new lap record in the race of 1m17.841s to add to his pole position.

The result moves the Hawick rider up to second place in the Championship.

"That was just a fantastic weekend. We were quickest in practice, got pole and then got the lap record in the race, what more can you do? Hopefully I am starting to prove the doubters wrong who wrote me off at the start of the season. Now I'm up to second in the Championship and hopefully we can build on that" said the Scot.

Team owner Paul Bird was also delighted with his team's performance. "It doesn't come any better than that. It's a gentlemen's full set. We can now look forward to Oulton Park in two weeks' time and hopefully continue our success there."

[photo credit: Double Red]