Alex Lowes moved into the lead of the British Superbike Championship for the first time with victory in race one at Silverstone, holding off a brave Shane Byrne on the last lap. The two championship rivals were in a class of their own and provided action aplenty in a thrilling start to the day.
Only in the opening five laps did anybody get close to the front two with Tommy Bridewell and the two Tyco Suzukis tagging on to their tails. Unfortunately for Josh Brookes though, his race and title chances were ended on lap five when his GSX-R1000 coasted to a halt on the Hangar Straight. The Australian had been lying third but his exit split the leading group into two distinct battles with Bridewell and PJ Jacobsen fighting over the last podium place.
Up ahead, Lowes kept Byrne under control until the beginning of the final lap when Byrne powered through into Maggotts. Lowes would think about a counter attack on several occasions but his opportunity wouldn’t come until he arrived at the final complex. With Byrne making a small mistake entering the Wellington straight, Alex was able to outdrag him on the run towards Brooklands.
‘Shakey’ made one final attempt to sneak past as they rounded Woodcote but the Samsung Honda hung on to win by 0.094s. Bridewell fought his way past Jacobsen three laps from home to snatch third from the American while James Ellison produced an excellent recovery ride to finish fifth from eighteenth on the grid, aided by a lightning start which took him past eight riders on lap one.
Jon Kirkham took sixth ahead of Peter Hickman and James Westmoreland while Matteo Baiocco continued his impressive weekend with ninth on the Rapido Sport Ducati, just edging out Barry Burrell.