Shane Byrne has become the most successful rider in British Superbike history after a double victory at Thruxton on Sunday. The Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider has moved past Ryuichi Kiyonari’s previous record of 43 race wins and has built up a fifteen point championship lead over Alex Lowes whose perfect podium record in 2013 continued.
The victories came under very different circumstances with a last corner lunge on Brookes securing the 25 points in race one. Having started from pole, Lowes was a contender throughout but was forced to settle for third but his teammate Kiyonari was out of the points altogether in seventeenth. The second race wouldn’t see an upturn in his fortunes either with a crash halting him on the very first lap.
As it was, only thirteen of the scheduled twenty laps were possible in race two after a series of incidents and two safety car periods, the first triggered by Kiyonari’s tumble. Halsall Racing Kawasaki’s Lee Costello would crash out on lap eight to bring the Nissan GT-R back out but a collision between Karl Harris and Tommy Bridewell would finally bring the race to a conclusion. The two made contact on the approach to the Club chicane with both bikes seen cartwheeling over the air fence. Thankfully, both riders avoided serious injury although Bridewell did suffer a laceration to his thigh.
The day unquestionably belonged to Byrne who has won three of the four races so far this year and the Londoner is proud of his record breaking achievement.
“To come away with the double is superb and becoming the most successful rider in BSB just adds to that. I really wanted to put on a show in the second race but we just couldn’t get going as the safety car kept coming out every time I’d opened up a gap meaning it disappeared. We had a few problems in the first race with the front brake disc and suspension so I was relieved to get the win but everything was spot on in the second race. The pace was quicker and I felt more comfortable so all in all it’s a great start to the season.”
Lowes claimed second in race two with the early stoppage allowing James Ellison to muscle Brookes off the podium. The Australian has managed to overtake Ellison in the championship standings though and excellent performances for Jon Kirkham and James Westmoreland have seen the Buildbase BMW riders take possession of the last two showdown spots, dislodging Kiyonari.
|2013 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship|
|Riders’ Championship Standings After Round 2: Thruxton|
|1||Shane Byrne||Kawasaki||Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki||3||91|
|2||Alex Lowes||Honda||Samsung Honda||76|
|3||Josh Brookes||Suzuki||Tyco Suzuki||60|
|4||James Ellison||Yamaha||Milwaukee Yamaha||1||51|
|5||Jon Kirkham||BMW||Buildbase BMW Motorrad||42|
|6||James Westmoreland||BMW||Buildbase BMW Motorrad||27|
|7||Chris Walker||Kawasaki||Quattro Plant Kawasaki||26|
|8||Keith Farmer||Kawasaki||Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki||26|
|9||PJ Jacobsen||Suzuki||Tyco Suzuki||23|
|10||Ryuichi Kiyonari||Honda||Samsung Honda||21|
|11||Michael Rutter||Honda||Bathams Honda||19|
|12||Karl Harris||Kawasaki||PR Racing Kawasaki||18|
|13||Peter Hickman||Honda||Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Honda||18|
|14||Jakub Smrz||Honda||Padgetts Honda||13|
|15||Robbin Harms||Honda||Doodson Motorsport Honda||12|
|16||Tommy Bridewell||Honda||Bathams Honda||11|
|17||Josh Waters||Yamaha||Milwaukee Yamaha||8|
|18||Howie Mainwaring||Kawasaki||MH Kawasaki||8|
|19||Martin Jessopp||BMW||Riders Motorcycles||4|
|20||Matteo Baiocco||Ducati||Rapido Sport Racing||3|
|21||Danny Buchan||Kawasaki||Quattro Plant Kawasaki||3|
|Next Round: Oulton Park – May 6th|