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Byrne wins dramatic first MCE BSB race at Assen as Hill loses out

Sunday, September 23 2012

Shane 'Shakey' Byrne claimed a historic first Assen MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship race win this morning on his return from injury and moved to the top of the Showdown standings as dramatically Tommy Hill failed to score as he was involved in an incident before the start of the race.

As the bikes filtered through to join the grid on the sighting lap defending champion Hill had an incident on the grid as he made contact with a mechanic and subsequently tipped off. The number one Swan Yamaha was pushed back to the garage as the team worked to repair the damage in a bid to get the former standings leader back out in the race. As the race got underway Hill joined the race from the back of the grid and was only able to complete a handful of laps before retiring.

Speaking about the disaster Hill said:  "I was coming through the back of the grid and it was pretty busy and a mechanic from another team didn't realise I was there and ran into me and it jammed the brake lever on. I went over the bars there was nothing that I could do about it.  The bike went down and snapped the rear set off the frame, but the team did a great job to do a quick fix and get me out there to get in a lap time for race two.  I crushed my crown jewels a bit, but these things happen!"

On the start Michael Laverty had taken the lead on the opening lap from Jakub Smrz, Josh Brookes and Byrne. A lap later though and Byrne snuck ahead to take the lead and continued to push the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki hard to try and keep the chasing Title Fighters at bay.

Laverty was under increasing pressure from Brookes on the third lap and the Tyco Suzuki dived through before the pair swapped places again. Stuart Easton had also been in the leading pack but a moment when he ran on into the gravel and rejoined dropped him down the order.

On the eighth lap Laverty then snatched the lead back from Byrne with Brookes and Lowes also in close contention as the Title Fighters duelled for the vital championship points, but Byrne then moved back ahead. Byrne then started to edge out an advantage as Lowes moved up to second ahead of Laverty with Brookes doing the same two laps later. Laverty dropped down the order to seventh as he struggled over the closing laps but Brookes was able to get ahead of Lowes with three laps remaining to claim second.

Luca Scassa had his best result of the season in fourth after a battle with Noriyuki Haga in fifth and Tommy Bridewell in sixth. James Westmoreland, Stuart Easton and Robin Harms completed the top ten.

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

  1. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
  2. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +4.731s
  3. Alex Lowes (WFR Honda) +4.881s
  4. Luca Scassa (Padgetts Honda) +9.327s
  5. Noriyuki Haga (Swan Yamaha) +10.024s
  6. Tommy Bridewell (Supersonic BMW) +11.026s
  7. Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) +11.538s
  8. James Westmoreland (WFR Honda) +17.160s
  9. Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +23.137s
  10. Robin Harms (Doodson Motorsport Honda) +23.292s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Assen race one:

  1. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 548
  2. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) 545
  3. Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) 535
  4. Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) 523
  5. Alex Lowes (WFR Honda) 518
  6. Tommy Bridewell (Supersonic BMW) 510