Author: Bike Social Sports Reporter Posted: 05 May 2014
Shane Byrne and Josh Brookes shared the honours at the second round of the British Superbike championship at Oulton Park this weekend, running each other close to the line on each occasion. The series’ protagonists battled hard in both races, with one victory apiece the fairest outcome possible.
In the first race, Byrne took the lead in to Old Hall corner on lap one ahead of Brookes but an incident involving Simon Andrews along the Avenue brought out the safety car while marshals cleared the debris. Three laps later the Nissan GTR pulled back into the pits and Byrne pushed on in an attempt to control the race. James Ellison slipped ahead of Josh Brookes into second with Chris Walker behind the Yamaha man in fourth.
Shane Byrne continued to control the eight-wheel train for the lead but there were no changes of position until Chris Walker crashed out of fourth position at Hizzy’s chicane on lap seven. At mid-race distance, Milwaukee Yamaha’s Josh Brookes upped the pace with the fastest lap of the race as he began to search for a way around James Ellison but Byrne responded to the Aussie’s pace, topping the Australian’s fastest lap. Further back in the field, Buildbase BMW’s Ryuichi Kiyonari was pushing through the field from tenth place early on. The Japanese rider made it through to fourth place before retiring with a technical problem on lap seventeen.
Hizzy’s chicane would continue to be the GBmoto team’s nemesis as James Ellison ran on giving up second place to Josh Brookes, who pulled the pin to chase down Shane Byrne, chipping time off the fastest lap of the race two laps in succession. Despite Brookes’ best efforts on the last lap, he couldn’t find enough to get past Byrne and settled for second place.
Starting from pole position in the second race, Josh Brookes shot into the lead on the first lap ahead of Josh Brookes, Ryuichi Kiyonari and James Ellison. Keen to take the lead, Byrne took a look up the inside of Brookes into Brittens but the Milwaukee Yamaha man came back immediately. Chris Walker temporarily took third place from his team mate but couldn’t maintain it for too long, conceding on lap six.
With Brookes slowly pulling away, Byrne upped his game to go with him and Ellison, suffering with a hip injury after Brands Hatch, followed to form a three bike chase for the lead. Thinking he could challenge Brookes, Ellison passed Shakey for second on lap eight but the three-time champ fought back hard and began to apply pressure to the race leader while Ellison began to drop off the pair.
A moment coming out of Lodge on lap fifteen didn’t interfere with Brookes’ rhythm as the Aussie began to defend his line from an eager Byrne behind. Every time Byrne tried to look underneath the Milwaukee Yamaha, Brookes would close the door to ensure he’d go on to bag his first race win on Yamaha machinery crossing the line just a tenth of a second ahead of Brookes. An injured James Ellison crossed the line third to make it four out of four podium finishes ahead of Stuart Easton, Tommy Bridewell and James Westmoreland. Dan Linfoot finished seventh ahead of Chris Walker, John Hopkins and Jon Kirkham rounding out the top ten.
Byrne now leads the championship from Brookes by thirty points with Ellison a point further back in third.
Race 1 Result:
Race 2 Result:
Championship Standings after 2 rounds: