Byrne Romps To Brands Hatch Double

Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider Shane Byrne thrust himself firmly into championship contention when he rocketed to a superb double victory in round seven of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at a sun-kissed Brands Hatch today.

The Isle of Sheppey rider claimed his first pole position of the season and then led both 18-lap races from start to finish and after fending off a challenge from Yamaha's Noriyuki Haga and then the Suzuki of Josh Brookes in the opening race, Byrne comfortably controlled the second race to win from Brookes and championship leader Tommy Hill to consolidate second place in the standings.

More importantly, the double British Champion's first double of the season has secured his slot in the end of season Showdown meaning he is guaranteed a tilt at the title and with the two wins, has closed to within three Podium Credits of defending champion Hill which will prove vital in the final standings.

Team mate Stuart Easton was returning to the Penrith-based Paul Bird Motorsport team after missing two rounds following a leg injury and claimed a deserved eighth position in the opening race. However, it turned sour in the second race when the Scot, from Hawick, crashed out of fourth place at high speed early on, luckily without further injury.

Ulsterman Keith Farmer maintained his lead in the Metzeler National Superstock 1000 Championship with a battling second place but the Clogher, Co Tyrone rider had to give best to Aussie Jason O'Halloran who in winning, reduced Farmer's lead to a single point going into the next round at Cadwell Park in five weeks time.

Shane Byrne: "A double victory is always good but to do it at my home circuit, in the sunshine and in front of a big local crowd is fantastic. We knew we had work to do after Oulton Park and the team have worked their butts off to address the problems we had so they deserve this as much as anyone. We have scored some good Podium Credits this weekend and it's vital we continue that into Cadwell Park next month as there's still a long way to go in this championship."

Stuart Easton: "I was reasonably happy with race one after missing a couple of rounds and was running well in the second race when I hit a false neutral and crashed out. It was totally my fault and I'm feeling a bit sore but at least I didn't reinjure any of my old wounds and I'll be fighting fit for Cadwell in five weeks time."

Keith Farmer: "I should be happy with a second place but when the guy who beats you is your main championship rival, it's not so good. At least I'm still leading the championship but from now on, I'm only interested in wins starting at Cadwell Park."

Johnny Mowatt, Crew Chief: "Shakey has been on fire all weekend and has done an exceptional job for us with a double victory and pole position to secure a place in The Showdown. Stuart rode well in race one but was unlucky to crash out in race two and hopefully he'll bounce back at Cadwell. Usually, a podium for Keith would be a great result but he conceded points to reduce his lead but overall, it's been a good day for the team."

MCE British Superbike Championship Race 1 18 laps1 Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)2 Josh Brookes (Suzuki)3 Tommy Hill (Yamaha)4 Michael Laverty (Honda)5 Tommy Bridewell (BMW)6 Chris Walker (Kawasaki)8 Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)

MCE British Superbike Championship Race 2 18 laps1 Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)2 Josh Brookes (Suzuki)3 Tommy Hill (Yamaha)4 Michael Laverty (Honda)5 Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha)6 Alex Lowes (Honda)DNF Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)

Championship Standings (after 7 rounds)1 Hill 266pts2 Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 2553 Brookes 2464 Laverty 1725 Bridewell 1246 Haga 11312 Easton 74

Metzeler National Superstock 1000cc Championship (15 laps)1 Jason O'Halloran (Honda)2 Keith Farmer (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)3 Adam Jenkinson (Honda)4 Howie Mainwaring (BMW)5 Victor Cox (Kawasaki)6 PJ Jacobsen (Suzuki)

Championship standings (after 9 rounds)1 Farmer (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 131pts2 O'Halloran 1303 Cox 1004 Storrar 985 Brogan 906 Johnson 90

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