Superbike - Brands BSB: Byrne triumphs in race one

Shane 'Shakey' Byrne got his title defence off to a flying start in the opening race of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship season at Brands Hatch.

Superbikes - Byrne 'fired up' to claim a record fourth championship

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Shane Byrne (BSB)

Byrne held off Alex Lowes and Josh Brookes to claim victory at his home circuit, giving Kawasaki a fine opening win.

He assumed a clear lead on the opening lap from Brookes, with the Australian rider diving ahead on the Tyco Suzuki on the fifth lap at Paddock Hill Bend. He held the advantage at the front of the field despite the pressure from Byrne, but the defending champion made a repeat move on his rival to reclaim the lead.

Brookes tried to defend and take the inside line into Druids but Byrne held the position and in the closing laps upped the ante to edge a gap.

Brookes was then coming under pressure from Lowes and the Samsung Honda rider forced his way ahead with just over 10 laps remaining on the brakes into Paddock Hill Bend. Lowes was able to claim his first podium finish for Samsung Honda with Brookes having to settle for third.

Jon Kirkham equalled BMW's best finish of a fourth place ahead of Tommy Bridewell on the Bathams Honda.

The race was red flagged with just over a lap remaining when Dan Linfoot and James Westmoreland Dan Linfoot both crashed out on the run to Graham Hill Bend with the pair battling for seventh position. Westmoreland is just resting after the crash whilst Linfoot has been assessed by the MCE BSB medical team and has a stable cracked pelvis injury.

Race one results

1. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)

2. Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) +1.376s

3. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +6.207s

4. Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) +9.009s

5. Tommy Bridewell (Bathams Honda) +9.326s

6. Keith Farmer (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +13.351s

7. Chris Walker (Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki) +13.681s

8. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) +13.814s

9. PJ Jacobsen (Tyco Suzuki) +16.980s

10. Josh Waters (Milwaukee Yamaha) +20.505s

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