Shane Byrne brought up a half century of British Superbike race wins with a typically cool ride under pressure in race two at Oulton Park. The championship leader was shadowed throughout with Josh Brookes a tenth of a second behind at the finish while drama unfolded in their wake.
In the early stages, the race was following an all-too-familiar pattern for Alex Lowes who grabbed the holeshot into Old Hall, only to lose the lead on the second lap with Byrne easing past at Lodge. The youngster was keen to avoid a repeat of race one though and struck straight back at Old Hall but when ‘Shakey’ dived through at Lodge for the second time on lap six, a counter attack wasn’t forthcoming.
Instead, Lowes would come under pressure himself at Old Hall, losing second place to James Ellison, and the slide down the running order continued five laps later as Josh Brookes pushed past into Lodge. With Lowes down to fourth, the Samsung Hondas were now running line astern at the rear of the leading group with Ryuichi Kiyonari lurking in fifth.
With the Yamaha not quick enough to threaten the Kawasaki down the straights, Ellison soon turned his attentions to Brookes who had his eyes on second place. The Australian succeeded in his pursuit after a tiny gap opened at the Shell Oils hairpin but an even tougher move from Lowes had a bigger impact on his race.
With third place up for grabs, Lowes stormed up the inside at the high speed Island bend but in the process of completing the move, the Samsung Honda rider forced Ellison wide and onto the grass. With the barriers fast approaching, Ellison had no option but to drop the bike, ending his race, and the leading pack was now down to four.
Lowes wasn’t finished there and had a look at Brookes on the last lap but the Australian was wise to the move and slammed the door shut. The fight would go down to the very last corner and as Josh took a defensive line, Alex went for the outside but as he looked to duck back underneath the Suzuki, the front end of his Honda folded.
Byrne and Brookes were clear and the demise of his teammate promoted Ryuichi Kiyonari onto the podium ahead of Tommy Bridewell after another outstanding effort from Halsall Racing Kawasaki’s new signing. The consistent Jon Kirkham took fifth with PJ Jacobsen a lonely sixth while Dan Linfoot held off Keith Farmer and James Westmoreland for seventh.