Byrne edges closer to title
Shane Byrne moved a step closer to clinching the British Superbike Championship title after winning the opening race at Brands Hatch.
Byrne, looking to claim his third BSB crown following successes in 2003 and 2008, took the lead on the opening lap of the final round on Saturday and never relinquished it as he claimed victory ahead of fellow Englishman Tommy Hill with Australian Josh Brookes third.
Kawasaki's Byrne now holds an 18-point lead in the overall classification over nearest challenger Brookes heading into Sunday's two final races.
Reigning champion Hill is in third spot but 47 points behind his compatriot and with only a slim chance of retaining his crown.
Another Title Fighter, Alex Lowes, had claimed pole position - the fourth time in five rounds - ahead of Byrne this morning but the 22-year-old WFR Honda rider crashed out when well-placed late on in this afternoon's race.
That setback saw Lowes, who was unhurt, slip to fourth in the overall standings, two points behind Hill.