Shane Byrne signed off his title-winning British Superbike campaign in style with victory in the final race of the season at Brands Hatch. The newly crowned champion held off a determined James Ellison before the race was stopped early following an accident three laps short of the distance.
Byrne led for much of the race although he briefly fell back to second after a moment exiting Surtees on lap eight. Ellison inherited the lead thanks to Shakey’s slip-up but the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki breezed back past on the run towards Hawthorn next time around. Despite the ease at which he regained the lead, Byrne was unable to gap the GBmoto rider thanks to a mid-race safety car, deployed due to debris on the start/finish straight.
Ellison shadowed Byrne following the return to green flag racing but any hope of a late challenge was dashed on lap eighteen when Aaron Zanotti’s Suzuki dropped fluids at Druids, causing the STEL rider to crash and forcing race direction to halt proceedings.
As a result, Byrne was declared the winner with Ellison and Tommy Bridewell completing the podium, the latter securing third in the championship. The day belonged to Shakey though and he admitted a double victory was the ideal way to clinch the title given Kiyonari’s unfortunate absence.
“It was getting a bit crazy but I tried to lead with a strong pace. I really wanted to win as to me the only way of justifying the title was to complete the double. That gave me the extra drive to make the title so real.”
Stuart Easton took fourth, and with it the Rider’s Cup, while Josh Brookes closed out a disappointing showdown campaign with fifth. Dan Linfoot was sixth although his Quattro Plant teammate Howie Mainwaring couldn’t build on his earlier heroics after crashing at Paddock Hill.