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Byrne wraps up third Superbikes title at Brands Hatch
10:49am Friday 19th October 2012 in Sport
SHANE ‘Shakey’ Byrne was crowned British Superbikes champion for the third time in front of tens of thousands of fans at Brands Hatch on Sunday.
Byrne won the opening race of the weekend on Saturday to extend his lead in the standings to 18 points as Alex Lowes crashed out unhurt on the WFR Honda.
Tommy Hill and Josh Brookes claimed the final podium positions to keep the pressure on the leader going into the second contest on Sunday.
Byrne edged closer to another title by beating Josh Brookes as the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider kept his cool in an incident-packed race.
On the third lap the Nissan GT-R Safety Car was deployed as Tristan Palmer crashed heavily at Paddock Hill Bend, although he was able to walk away from the crash.
Byrne held the advantage when the race continued and finished ahead of Brookes and Michael Laverty at the final chequered flag.
On the opening lap of the third and final race, Brookes hit the lead from fierce rival Byrne and Laverty.
The Samsung Honda rider was pushed back to fourth as Lowes moved third at Druids on the second lap.
But the leading pack were pushing hard for the final race win of the season, with Laverty biding his time until moving back into podium contention with a move on the eighth lap.
At the front of the pack Brookes had started to edge out an advantage, but soon Byrne was closing him back in and then coming under fire from Laverty.
The Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider was looking to make a move, which he did on the penultimate lap with a move down the inside at Pilgrims Drop.
And Byrne held the lead to score his first triple win from Brookes and with it a third title.
He said: “That was amazing and I am ecstatic.
“It would be cruel not to have tried for the win and it has been such an incredible season.”
There was drama for the final podium position when Hill was promoted to third as Laverty and Lowes both crashed out at on the final lap at Paddock Hill Bend.
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