Byrne storms to Brands Hatch race win


Byrne

Shane Byrne has his first win of the 2016 season after storming through the pack to take victory in race two of the day at Brands Hatch.

The four-time champion had to work hard after dropping down to eighth in the early stages but found some pace late-on to taste victory for the first time on his Ducati machine.

Byrne was joined on the podium by an impressive Richard Cooper on the Buildbase BMW, and by race one winner Leon Haslam.

Tommy Bridewell completed a fine day on his Bennetts Suzuki in fourth place, ahead of the Honda Racing duo of Dan Linfoot and Jason O’Halloran.

Christian Iddon was next up in seventh, ahead of Peter Hickman and Stuart Easton. Pole-sitter Luke Mossey went backwards in the closing stages of the race and ended up in 10th.

James Ellison’s luck did not improve for race two, with the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider being forced to retire from the lead of the race with a mechanical issue.

Michael Laverty was also forced to retire from the race when he was battling in sixth place, due to his Tyco BMW’s engine blowing-up.

At the start of the race it was Mossey and Ellison who made the best starts, with Byrne falling back down to eighth position.

Ellison soon set his sights on the lead of the race and took the lead on two consecutive laps going through the first corner – only to be pegged back on both occasions by Mossey at Druids.

Ellison finally made a move stick on lap nine, moments before the safety car was deployed following Laverty’s engine problems.

A few laps after the restart saw the end of Ellison’s race, with the runner-up in race one suffering from some kind of mechanical problem. Ellison was clearly frustrated as he parked his Kawasaki at the side of the circuit.

This allowed Cooper to take the lead of the race, with Haslam and Mossey battling for second place. After a couple of foiled attempts, Haslam finally got the better of Mossey on lap 18.

A rejuvenated Byrne was putting in some quick lap-times and soon caught a passed Mossey for fourth place going into McLaren.

Mossey’s downfall would continue, with the Quattro Plant Kawasaki rider losing out to Bridewell, Linfoot and Iddon within a couple of laps.

Heading into the final five laps Byrne had caught the top two and set his sights on Haslam. Byrne put a move on Haslam going into McLaren and made it stick for second place.

Two laps later Byrne put-in a near-identical move at the same corner to take the lead of the race away from Cooper.

Byrne had timed it perfectly and with Cooper unable to fight-back the Londoner managed to pull away and take the chequered flag for the first time in 2016.

The series leaves Brands Hatch with Haslam leading the championship on 93 points, with Byrne just three points behind in second.