This year’s British Superbikes contest continues to enthral, with an incredibly close-fought battle for the top spot. Only one-third of the way through the season, there’s still everything to play for as the coveted top-six positions shuffle once again after a fast and furious day at Snetterton.
The UK’s newest circuit is also one of its longest, and races at Snetterton always prove a challenge for any rider. Defending champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne took everything well in his stride, and was on fine form from the beginning of race one all the way through to the end of the day.
Byrne stormed ahead despite a few bike problems that led to a bumpier ride than usual, with Australian rivals Josh Brookes and Jason O’Halloran fighting for podium spots of their own. Brookes hung back at first before fighting his way through the pack from sixth, stealing second from O’Halloran. But he couldn’t close the gap on Shakey, who earned his first outright victory since the season’s opening round. Elsewhere, disaster struck for James Ellison, who failed to finish – losing him his first place standing – whereas Ryuichi Kiyonari failed once again to return to the form that saw him win the title in 2013, finishing in 19th.
Race two saw a similar story, with Kiyonari failing to finish – although James Ellison fared a bit better, fighting back to earn seventh place, just a second behind Stuart Easton. Up at the head of the back, Byrne, Brookes and O’Halloran took the podium spots again – but Byrne was on even finer form, smashing his lap record from the previous race and finding himself untouchable out in front.
It gives a serious shakeup to the overall standings, pushing Ellison down to third while Brookes bumps up to second and Shakey powers in to the lead.
|1||Shane Byrne||PBM Kawasaki||151|
|2||Josh Brookes||Milwaukee Yamaha||134|
|3||James Ellison||JG Speedfit Kawasaki||118|
|4||Stuart Easton||PBM Kawasaki||99|
|5||Tommy Bridewell||Tyco BMW||77|
|6||Jason O’Halloran||Honda Racing||74|
It’s getting tougher to call – join us again at the start of July, when the season heads to Knockhill up in Scotland.