Shane Byrne completed his second double victory in three meetings after another duel with Josh Brookes in race two at Snetterton. The pair were much more closely matched than they had been earlier but a crash for the Australian late on decided the race in Byrne’s favour.
Byrne and Brookes enjoyed an entertaining tussle at half distance but four laps from the finish, the Australian suffered a highside as he opened the throttle exiting Montreal hairpin, handing the race to Byrne, and the championship leader was relieved to see his biggest threat disappear after pushing so hard for so long.
“My crew chief felt that if I could lap consistently I’d be in a good position so I tried hard from the word go and towards the end of the race I managed to build up a bit of a buffer. The last couple of laps were a bit sketchy so I was pleased to see the chequered flag and take the win. It’s very early days in the season though and there’s a long way to go so we’ll just keep doing what we’re doing.”
Brookes shrugged off any injury concerns after his crash and admitted he had simply paid the price for pushing beyond the limit in pursuit of victory.
“The crash had me winded for a while but I am ok. I just tried to close the gap to Shakey on the exit of the corner and I just gave it too much gas; unfortunately giving it more throttle wasn’t the answer. I was riding so hard for the results and we will just have to keep trying to see if we can get the better of them next time out.”
His exit set the stage for Tommy Bridewell and James Ellison to contest second place and the GBmoto rider would come out on top, ending his run of consecutive third place finishes. Ryuichi Kiyonari backed up his encouraging first race with fourth in the second with Julien da Costa atoning for his race one crash by taking fifth. Dan Linfoot was sixth to establish himself in the showdown places with John Hopkins also boosting his title hopes by beating Jakub Smrz to seventh.