Shane Byrne kept his composure to claim victory in a closely contested race one at Knockhill on Sunday. The reigning champion led every lap but was forced withstand heavy pressure throughout. Byrne didn’t put a wheel wrong though as he took his third win in a row.
The only time the polesitter was headed was at the start with PBM teammate Stuart Easton making a sensational getaway from the middle of the front row. Byrne initially slotted into second ahead of Jason O’Halloran and Josh Brookes but he would regain the lead at the final hairpin, shortly before the safety car was scrambled due to Filip Backlund’s crash-damaged Kawasaki.
When the race resumed, the leading group settled into a rhythm but drama was unfolding behind them with showdown hopeful Dan Linfoot sliding out at Clark’s, moments before James Ellison and Ryuichi Kiyonari did the same within seconds of each other.
Michael Laverty avoided such pitfalls as he chased down the leading quartet and with ten laps remaining, the Ulsterman dived past O’Halloran for fourth and with four to go, he climbed into a podium position at Brookes’ expense. One lap later, Easton left the door open at the hairpin, allowing Laverty to barge his way through into second which he would hold to the chequered flag. However, an investigation by race direction later in the evening adjudged his move on Brookes to have occurred under yellow flags, relegating him back to fourth.
As a result, Byrne led a PBM Kawasaki 1-2 from Easton with Brookes inherited the final rostrum position from Laverty. O’Halloran held on to fifth ahead of Danny Buchan and Tommy Bridewell with Luke Mossey, James Westmoreland and Peter Hickman completing the top ten.