Shane Byrne secured his sixth British title in race three at Brands Hatch, as title rival Leon Haslam suffered a horrific high-speed crash at the notoriously fast Hawthorns bend, where he sustained a broken left ankle, a broken right wrist and a broken right thumb, yet still made it to the grid afterwards to congratulate Byrne on his latest achievement.
Byrne started race three from the middle of the front row, whereas the man to beat Haslam started from eleventh. By the first corner, Haslam was leading Byrne around, with Josh Brookes – who wasn’t completely out of the title fight, sat just in front. As Brookes picked his way up to second by lap five, the two main contenders were left out back with Byrne patiently following Haslam around and waiting for the right time to attack.
But Byrne didn’t get that chance, as Haslam crashed out on lap six. He was forced to bail off the bike at 172mph due to front brake failure on his ZX-10RR, and slammed straight into the air fence which subsequently brought out the safety car for two laps. Once the safety car came in, all Byrne had to do was finish in the points to clinch his sixth title. Brookes stormed into the lead out front, which started to put pressure onto Byrne who was slowly dropping backwards. But the seasoned British Superbike Champion held his nerve to bring home the title.
The race in hand was seemingly ignored as Brookes signed off the season on the top step, from Jason O’Halloran and James Ellison, who were engaged in a difficult battle to the end.
Haslam’s DNF saw him drop to third in the overall standings, as Brookes’ win pushed him into second overall, just three points behind Byrne on a bike that wasn’t thought to be competitive at the beginning of the season.
All good seasons must come to an end, and today the 2017 British Superbike Championship ended with Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne taking his well deserved sixth British title. It’s been a fantastic season with ten different winners, and one thing’s for sure; 2018 is set to be incredible.
MCE British Superbike Race Three, Brands Hatch
|1||Josh Brookes||Anvil Hire TAG Racing Yamaha||28:59.284|
|2||Jason O'Halloran||Honda Racing||+0.687|
|3||James Ellison||McAMS Yamaha||+0.857|
|4||Michael Laverty||McAMS Yamaha||+1.929|
|5||Christian Iddon||Tyco BMW Motorrad||+2.144|
|6||Peter Hickman||Smiths Racing BMW||+5.254|
|7||Dan Linfoot||Honda Racing||+5.281|
|8||Shane Byrne||Be Wiser Ducati||+6.512|
|9||Bradley Ray||Buildbase Suzuki||+6.923|
|10||Richard Cooper||Bennetts Suzuki||+7.628|
|11||Sylvain Guintoli||Bennetts Suzuki||+12.176|
|12||Jake Dixon||RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki||+13.853|
|13||Glenn Irwin||Be Wiser Ducati||+13.923|
|14||Lee Jackson||Smiths Racing BMW||+14.013|
|15||Tommy Bridewell||Team WD-40 Kawasaki||+14.369|
|16||Jakub Smrz||Lloyd & Jones PR Racing BMW||+16.633|
|17||Luke Mossey||JG Speedfit Kawasaki||+22.910|
|18||Kyle Ryde||Quattro Plant FS-3 Racing Kawasaki||+27.895|
|19||Martin Jessopp||Ridersmotorcycles.com BMW||+27.955|
|20||Michael Rutter||Bathams SMT BMW||+29.257|
|21||James Westmoreland||Gearlink Kawasaki||+29.885|
|22||Aaron Zanotti||Platform Hire Yamaha||+31.125|
|23||Dean Harrison||Silicone Engineering Racing Kawasaki||+34.970|
|24||Shaun Winfield||Anvil Hire TAG Racing Yamaha||+57.297|
|DNF||Leon Haslam||JG Speedfit Kawasaki||15 laps|
2017 MCE British Superbike Final Standings
|1||Shane Byrne||Be Wiser Ducati||637 points|
|2||Josh Brookes||Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha||634 points|
|3||Leon Haslam||JG Speedfit Kawasaki||631 points|
|4||Peter Hickman||Smiths Racing BMW||578 points|
|5||Jason O'Halloran||Honda Racing||567 points|
|6||Jake Dixon||RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki||562 points|
Christian Iddon, Tyco BMW Motorrad - 238 points