The current champ did not have it easy though, as Tyco Suzuki’s Josh Brookes and Samsung Honda’s Alex Lowes were not too far behind.
On the last lap of the race Brookes made a daring move on the triple champ, and did lead until the last corner, and Byrne decided to make his move once again. Lowes made a mistake and went wide and was unable to catch up with the two front bikes.
The win now means that Byrne has a ten point championship lead and will also start race two from the front row as he set the fastest lap time.
The race was action packed from the beginning. Aussie Rookie, Milwaukee Yamaha rider Josh Waters crashed on lap one, but was unhurt. Then by lap four rain started to fall on the circuit. Veteran rider Quattro Plant Kawasaki’s Chris Walker made the most of the damp conditions and did manage, if only briefly to make his way to third in the race, only for him to run off the circuit and he ended up in last place.
The rain did stop, but the yellow flag made an appearance on lap eight, when Byrne’s team-mate Rapid Solicitor’s Kawasaki rider Keith Farmer crashed when his bike touched a white line, and even though he was ok, his Shane Byrne borrowed leathers did not fair so well. The safety car then came out for two laps, and during that time many of the riders were able to group up together for some more battles to commence.
Farmer and Waters were not the only casualties of the race, both Bathams Honda rider Tommy Bridewell and Rapido Sport Racing’s Matteo Baiocco experienced technical problems, preventing them from reaching the chequered flag. Quattro Plant Kawasaki’s Danny Buchan received a five second penalty for overtaking during the safety car period.
Milwaukee Yamaha’s James Ellison had a consistent race and was able to stay out of trouble, and even though he started from seventeenth on the grid, he managed to claw his way up to sixth overall. There was a battle between Buildbase BMW Motorrad team-mates Jon Kirkham and James Westmoreland throughout the twenty lap dash, but it was the shorter of the two riders, Westmoreland who came out on top.
Veteran racers PR Kawasaki’s Karl Harris and Bathams Honda’s Michael Rutter came over the line seventh and eighth respectively, closely followed by Thruxton debutants Tyco Suzuki’s P.J Jacobsen and Padgett’s Honda rider Jakub Smrz, who rounded off the top ten. Former champion Samsung Honda’s Ryuichi Kiyonari could not emulate his team-mate Lowes success and finished the race in seventeenth position.
Results (top 10):
1. 67 Shane BYRNE GBR Kawasaki - Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki 20 26:31.549 106.58 1:16.152 2
2. 2 Josh BROOKES AUS Suzuki - Tyco Suzuki 20 26:31.850 0.301 0.301 106.56 1:16.778 12
3. 22 Alex LOWES GBR Honda - Samsung Honda 20 26:32.212 0.663 0.362 106.53 1:16.565 2
4. 27 James WESTMORELAND GBR BMW - Buildbase BMW Motorrad 20 26:37.964 6.415 5.752 106.15 1:16.819 5
5. 10 Jon KIRKHAM GBR BMW - Buildbase BMW Motorrad 20 26:38.082 6.533 0.118 106.14 1:16.792 2
6. 77 James ELLISON GBR Yamaha - Milwaukee Yamaha 20 26:38.327 6.778 0.245 106.13 1:16.595 13
7. 68 Karl HARRIS GBR Kawasaki - PR Racing Kawasaki 20 26:40.013 8.464 1.686 106.01 1:16.897 12
8. 11 Michael RUTTER GBR Honda - Bathams Honda 20 26:40.441 8.892 0.428 105.99 1:16.937 5
9. 99 PJ JACOBSEN USA Suzuki - Tyco Suzuki 20 26:41.102 9.553 0.661 105.94 1:17.388 13
10. 96 Jakub SMRZ CZE Honda - Padgetts Honda 20 26:41.366 9.817 0.264 105.92 1:17.353 12
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