Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki’s Shane Byrne has taken the first British Superbike win at Knockhill this afternoon in a race of little drama as the two-time champion led from lap four and was never properly challenged again.
Although the winning margin was only 1.2s, second-placed man Tommy Hill could do nothing about Byrne’s pace at the tight Scottish track but the Swan Yamaha rider now sits on top of the championship table with a lead of six points over Josh Brookes.
Samsung Honda’s Michael Laverty looked as though he could challenge for second place and was strong into the hairpin but a couple of errors saw him lose the tow on lap 27. He managed to decrease the gap again but settled for a final podium spot instead of making a lunge into the last corner.
Tyco Suzuki’s Brookes was in the mix at the start but dropped off with ten laps to go and had to surrender his title lead. The Australian finished in fourth which means he picks up points no podium credits while Hill has gained two extra on the Bringelly man.
Tommy Bridewell carefully picked his way through the field to tbag fifth place, passing Noriyuki Haga on lap 25 and taking himself into the Showdown. The Samurai of Slide also had Alastair Seeley, on the second Tyco bike, for company when the chequered flag came out. The WFR Hondas of Graeme Gowland and Alex Lowes finished in formation, taking eighth and ninth while Michael Rutter rounded out the top ten.
Crocked Chris Walker was forced out of the race on lap ten with an engine problem while Scott Smart retired the Moto Rapido Ducati at the same time. Padgett’s Honda man Ian Lowry crashed out of fifth place at the Scotsman on lap 14 while Buildbase BMW stand-in rider Peter Hickman was also a retirement. James Hiller (below) had a massive highside out of the hairpin and has fractured his heel and hand.
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Grid for race two
Hill (pole), Byrne, Laverty
Lowry, Westmoreland, Haga
Lowes, Bridewell, Brookes
Tommy Hill 143
Josh Brookes 137
Shane Byrne 133
Michael Laverty 97
Ian Lowry 73
Tommy Bridewell 67