Byrne bests Josh Brookes and pulls off the double at Knockhill.

Today in Scotland another great battle for the British Superbike championship took place at Knockhill Racing Circuit between Rapid Solicitor Kawasaki’s Shane Byrne and Tyco Suzuki’s Josh Brookes.  While Brookes put up a tough fight, it was Byrne that came out on top, pulling off the double win and putting him back into the lead of the championship.

It was an emotional victory for Byrne.  His wife Petra was in surgery before the race and it wasn’t until right before he mounted his bike for the warm-up lap that he heard from her.

“I went into the race a little bit happier than I have been for the past couple of days… She called me just a few minutes before I headed off out for the warm up lap and she said ‘I can't be there but do a good job and be safe,’ so that was a massive relief,” Byrne said. “It fired me up and I really wanted to win it for her.”

A fired up Byrne is bad news if your name is Josh Brookes. While Brookes led most of race one, he was unable to lose Byrne. With five laps to go, Byrne tried to take the lead and pass Brookes on the inside of the hairpin but ran wide. Brookes cut back and the two made contact on exit. Both remained upright but it just delayed the inevitable as Byrne would have another go at the hairpin a lap later. This time he pulled it off and Brookes was unable to challenge him for the win.

Brookes said he knew the defending champ was going to make the attempt at some point and that he was trying to pull a gap on him earlier in the race, but was unable to push any harder.

"After the first turn Shakey [Byrne] put a move on me straight away and I wanted to try and lead because I don't like to see Shakey [Byrne] controlling the race at the front,” Brookes said.  “So I went straight back underneath him at turn three and then led the race for the majority. I kept pushing to try and improve the lap times but every time I did I lost traction on the rear or made a mistake. It was like I was on a wall of the limit where I couldn't go any quicker even though I know I had before over the weekend. It is the same situation. The only variation is it is a lot warmer today.”

Ryuichi Kiyonari got his first podium of the year on his Samsung Honda after his teammate Alex Lowes crashed half way through the race, putting Kiyonari in a solid third position.

In race two it was Byrne in the lead straight out of the gate with Lowes, Brookes, and Kiyonari in pursuit. 

Brookes was finally able to pass Lowes by out-braking him on lap five.  The Australian on the Tyco Suzuki then went on to chase down Byrne and closed up the gap on the leader in the final laps. Brookes however made a mistake in the chicane on the final lap and was not close enough to challenge Byrne at the hairpin. He had to settle for second place once again.

The battle for third was once again between the two Samsung Honda teammates- Lowes and Kiyonari.  It was Kiyonari that would win that battle after passing Lowes on lap 18 and pulling a gap on him to secure another third-place position for the weekend.  This was the three-time BSB champion’s first double podium since 2010.

"I am very happy for this result today,” said Kiyonari.  “I think it has been a combination of me riding better and a bit of machine setup. I hope that we can keep these results going now because I want more wins and more podiums for Samsung Honda, but it is difficult as everyone is so fast.”

The New Yorker, PJ Jacobsen finished ninth and seventh in race one and two, respectively and fellow American Tommy Aquino also got a top-ten finish in the British Superstock 1000 series with eighth place.

British Superbike Race One Results:
1. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
2. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki)
3. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda)
4. Keith Farmer (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
5. Chris Walker (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) 
6. James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW)
7. James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha)
8. Dan Linfoot (Lloyds British GBmoto Honda)
9. PJ Jacobsen (Tyco Suzuki)
10. Peter Hickman (Lloyds British GBmoto Honda)

British Superbike Race Two Results:
1. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
2. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki)
3. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda)
4. Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda)
5. Chris Walker (Quattro Plant Kawasaki)
6. James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW)
7. PJ Jacobsen (Tyco Suzuki)
8. Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW)
9. Peter Hickman (Lloyds British GBmoto Honda)
10. Howie Mainwaring (MH Kawasaki)

British Superbike Championship Standings:
1. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 166
2. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) 136
3. Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) 130
4. James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) 80
5. Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) 76
6. Chris Walker (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) 65
7. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) 59
8. James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) 56
9. Keith Farmer (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 50
10. PJ Jacobsen (Tyco Suzuki) 47

 

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