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Shakey wins as Laverty and Mossey return to the podium

Sunday, July 24 2016

Shane 'Shakey' Byrne emerged victorious in the opening MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship race at Thruxton after a dynamic battle between the leading contenders for the positions in the closing stages of the restarted race.

In the opening part of the race Byrne got a flier off the line to lead Dan Linfoot and Tommy Bridewell at the start, but Billy McConnell was carving his way through the order and was up to third at the end of the second lap onboard the FS-3 Racing Kawasaki team.

Michael Laverty was surging forward though and the Tyco BMW rider passed both Linfoot and McConnell to move into second place, but it was a fierce battle for the chance to be on the podium. The freight train of riders took advantage of the nature of the high-speed Hampshire circuit and the positions changed constantly; by the eighth lap Byrne was still leading but behind Laverty, McConnell and Linfoot had Lee Jackson and Luke Mossey also pushing for the positions.

The JG Speedfit Kawasaki pairing of Peter Hickman and Leon Haslam were also closing on the group, with Jason O'Halloran also thrown into the fray as the riders completed the ninth lap, but the race was then red flagged when Stuart Easton crashed the ePayMe Yamaha after a technical problem.

On the restart Laverty had moved up to the front row and got a lightening start to lead Byrne, McConnell and Jackson. However a determined O'Halloran was on a charge and with a double move at the chicane he was into third place for Honda Racing.

Laverty was pushing hard to defend the lead, but two laps into the 12-lap restart the Be Wiser Ducati rider made his move, diving down the inside into the chicane to take the lead. The battle for third was intense though as McConnell dropped down the order as it became a battle of the brave with grip decreasing in the closing stages.

O'Halloran was falling back into the clutches of Mossey, Bridewell and James Ellison who pulled off an impressive return after a challenging weekend. Ellison was hunting the Bennetts Suzuki of Bridewell, taking an advantage when he made a small mistake to move into fifth place.

Mossey had close in O'Halloran and he made a move on the Australian to push himself into a podium finishing position. The Honda Racing rider was struggling with grip on the final lap and that gave Bridewell and Ellison the chance they needed to take the position with the pair moving into fourth and fifth respectively.

Ryuichi Kiyonari had a strong finish to the race on the second Bennetts Suzuki as he moved into seventh place ahead of Richard Cooper, Jakub Smrz and Martin Jessopp who completed the top ten.  

Leon Haslam, who still holds second in the overall standings finished in 13th position despite an early running inside the top six with Linfoot forced to retire from the race.

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

  1. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)
  2. Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) +3.066s
  3. Luke Mossey (Quattro Plant Teccare Kawasaki) +7.068s
  4. Tommy Bridewell (Bennetts Suzuki) +13.012s
  5. James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +14.103s
  6. Jason O'Halloran (Honda Racing) +14.135s
  7. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Bennetts Suzuki) +14.294s
  8. Richard Cooper (Buildbase BMW) +16.516s
  9. Jakub Smrz (Smiths Racing BMW) +18.584s
  10. Martin Jessopp (RidersMotorcycles.com BMW) +19.261s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Thruxton, race one:

  1. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 181
  2. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 155
  3. Jason O'Halloran (Honda Racing) 126
  4. Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) 111
  5. Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) 110
  6. Richard Cooper (Buildbase BMW) 106