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Byrne blitzes the opposition to claim opening Snetterton win

Sunday, June 21 2015

Defending MCE Insurance British Superbike Champion Shane 'Shakey' Byrne returned to winning ways in the opening race at Snetterton, scoring his first victory since the opening round of the season to move back to the top of the standings.

Byrne started his race with the best possible start, firing into the lead from the pole position ahead of Jason O'Halloran, Michael Laverty and Stuart Easton as the race got underway in Norfolk.

James Ellison was trying to move up the order from his tenth place grid position, but he ran out at the end of the Bentley Straight on the opening lap which dropped him further down the pack and he was later forced to retire his JG Speedfit Kawasaki, relinquishing his position at the top of the standings.

At the front Byrne was lapping in imperious form, but Josh Brookes was on the move and he was carving his way up the order on the Milwaukee Yamaha. He had settled into sixth place over the opening laps and then gradually picked off the opposition, dispensing with Easton first and then  the Tyco BMW pairing of Michael Laverty and Tommy Bridewell after the two team-mates had been locked in an earlier battle between themselves. Laverty's race though was to end prematurely when a technical problem forced him to retire.

 At the front Byrne still commanded the pack but Brookes had moved ahead of Bridewell with a move on the brakes at the end of the Bentley Straight to move into third and then he had to close the deficit to O'Halloran ahead of him. The Milwaukee Yamaha rider though proved his consistent pace again in the race and he chipped away to close down his Honda Racing rival and then made a decisive move on the eleventh lap at Murrays.

Brookes was doing everything possible to close down Byrne, but as the laps ticked down it just wasn't enough and he had to settle for second ahead of O'Halloran in third with a lonesome Bridewell in fourth.

Byrne said: "That race was actually a lot harder than it looked, I had a good start and then in the first couple of laps were half sensible. I know everyone seems to use the excuse of electrical problems but my bike developed some sort of problem where the quicker I opened the throttle the more aggressive it became - it was like the quick-shifter was working but I wasn't changing gear.

"I needed to be really smooth on the throttle and a couple of times it nearly caught me out, so that was causing me a few problems and I kept thinking 'I just need to nurse it home', so I tried to keep my lap times really consistent and I could see that luckily I had a gap because for sure if Josh [Brookes] or Jason [O'Halloran] were right on my back wheel it wouldn't have been ideal and I wouldn't have had much more to give really. I know without a shadow of a doubt that the team will find out what the problem was and have it sorted for race two. Hopefully in race two we will start as strong and maintain the pace to try and keep a gap at the front to try and make it a double." 

However behind the sole Tyco BMW of Bridewell in fourth there was an intense scrap for fifth place with a six-way dice between Dan Linfoot, Chris Walker, Easton, team-mates Howie Mainwaring and Luke Mossey plus Richard Cooper.

The positions changed every lap over the closing stages and Linfoot held the position to claim fifth in his first race back from injury as Walker scored his best result of the season in sixth place for the Be Wiser Kawasaki team ahead of Easton.

Mainwaring was able to get the better of his Quattro Plant Kawasaki team-mate to finish eighth with Richard Cooper complete the top ten, whilst a problem for Ryuichi Kiyonari meant the Buildbase BMW rider finished in 19th place. 

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Snetterton, race one result:

  1. Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki)
  2. Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +2.685s
  3. Jason O'Halloran (Honda Racing) +5.013s
  4. Tommy Bridewell (Tyco BMW) +8.134s
  5. Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +14.134s
  6. Chris Walker (Be Wiser Kawasaki) +14.592s
  7. Stuart Easton (PBM Kawasaki) +15.454s
  8. Howie Mainwaring (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +15.613s
  9. Luke Mossey (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +16.029s
  10. Richard Cooper (Anvil Hire TAG Racing) +16.478s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Snetterton race one:

  1. Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki) 126
  2. Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) 114
  3. James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 109
  4. Stuart Easton (PBM Kawasaki) 89
  5. Tommy Bridewell (Tyco BMW) 66
  6. Jason O'Halloran (Honda Racing) 58