Click here for full BSB Race 1 results at Silverstone

Michael Laverty has picked up where he finished 2015 by taking victory in the MCE British Superbike season opener at Silverstone after holding off a charging Shane Byrne.

The Tyco BMW rider, who claimed his sole victory last year in the final race of the campaign, stormed to the front through the opening bends before getting the better of Leon Haslam to lead at the end of lap one. The Northern Irish rider frequently looked to have broken the chasing pack but Byrne kept him honest and despite last lap pressure missed out on victory by just half a second.

It was a terrific race one for Philip Neill's squad with new rider Christian Iddon perfectly timing a late charge to complete the rostrum after JG Speedfit Kawasaki duo Haslam and Peter Hickman suffered technical issues while running in the leading bunch.

A similar charge by Quattro Plant Kawasaki's Luke Mossey saw him narrowly miss out on the podium by less than two-tenths while Honda Racing duo of Dan Linfoot and Jason O'Halloran faded towards the end of the race on the softer Pirelli tyre to take fifth and sixth respectively.

Danny Buchan took a respectable seventh place on the Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati as Lee Jackson, John Hopkins and Tommy Bridewell completed the top ten positions.

Ryuichi Kiyonari enjoyed a solid debut with Bennetts Suzuki in 11th as Richard Cooper, James Ellison, Glenn Irwin and Jakub Smrz rounded out the points-paying places.

At lights out O'Halloran shot into the lead at Copse but lost out in the short drag to Maggotts against Laverty and Haslam. The Tyco BMW rider muscled his way to the front and a small mistake by the returning Haslam allowed Linfoot to skip through into second.

Further back Ellison, from last on the grid after his disastrous qualifying, made up 14 places at the end of the lap to join the hunt for points finishes. His JG Speedfit Kawasaki team-mate Haslam then suffered his own problems with a technical issue on lap three putting him out of the race.

With tyre choices having a huge influence on the races last season at Silverstone, a trio of riders on the soft tyre - Linfoot, Byrne and O'Halloran - all kept pace with leader Laverty over the opening laps helped by conditions being fractionally warmer than had been seen all weekend.

Hickman on the harder compound began to reel in the front runners from fifth in the middle third of the race but his charge was ended by a technical issue, JG Speedfit Kawasaki's second of the race with the new ZX-10R.

As the laps ticked down Laverty made a break at the front which Byrne responded to by passing Linfoot at Stowe for second place, with Iddon and Mossey following through soon after.

Byrne closed the gap on Laverty but couldn't line up a pass on the final lap which allowed the Northern Irish rider to take the ninth BSB win of his career, while also completing a fantastic week for his family after brother Eugene claimed a career-best fourth in the Argentinean MotoGP while brother-in-law Chaz Davies did the double at Aragon in World Superbikes.

 

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