Shane Byrne heads into the showdown on a winning note after beating Josh Brookes to victory in the final race of the weekend at Oulton Park. The pair remained a class above the rest of the field in Cheshire but the big story came further down the order as Dan Linfoot finished sixth to secure a place in the championship at the expense of the injured Stuart Easton.
The race saw a lengthy safety car period following a heavy crash for Shaun Winfield at Old Hall but once the race resumed on lap ten, the same corner caught out Byrne as he attempted to snatch the lead from Brookes. The PBM rider slid wide and fell back to fifth but a sensational comeback saw him successfully overtake the Yamaha at Shell Oils on the penultimate lap.
Despite Brookes’ best efforts, ‘Shakey’ held on and admitted after the race that he though the chance of victory had gone with his mistake at the restart.
“I was watching Josh and wanted to make a move after the Safety car, but Josh left it quite late to go and I had a good run on him so I went for a lunge on him. I can’t tell you what I thought as I went straight on and unfortunately everyone was buzzing passed me! I got my head down and put some harsh moves on the others as I knew I had no time to waste to get back to Josh. It was now or never so I went for the move and led the rest of the lap and fortunately held him off.”
Tommy Bridewell took third ahead of Danny Buchan and James Ellison to rubberstamp his showdown place while Linfoot did likewise with sixth. Richard Cooper’s consistent run continued with seventh while his teammate Ryuichi Kiyonari enjoyed a rare top ten result in ninth. Despite toiling to twelfth, Michael Laverty is also assured of a place in the top six.