Motorsports – BSB: Byrne takes dominant race one win

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Even though he was challenged by Milwaukee Yamaha’s Josh Brookes and GBmoto Kawasaki’s James Ellison, he ended the race with a four second lead.


There was drama from the very first lap as a crash between podiums favourites, Da Costa and Smrz occured at Montreal, ending their chances of fighting for a race victory. Gearlink Kawasaki’s Ben Wilson also fell on the first lap, but this time at Palmer, along with Bathams Michael Rutter, was taken to the medical centre to be assessed.


The weekend was getting worse for Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki’s Stuart Easton as he retired with a technical problem at Agostini, and with all the fallers a safety car and yellow flags appeared as oil was cleared from Palmers.


The safety car remained out for another three laps and Byrne was able to pull the plug and edge on a ahead of Brookes. With all the fallers, Ellison was able to take advantage of the vacant grid positions and powered his Kawasaki to third.


Quattro Plant Kawasaki’s Howie Mainwaring also experienced a technical issue and swiftly retired to the pits with 11 laps remaining. Elsewhere Bridewell, Linfoot and Kiyo were having a fight for fourth, with the Devizes swearbox having the pace to hold the other challengers at bay.


On lap eight Bridewell was closing the gap on third place Ellison and set the fastest lap of the day a 1’48.279. But the Kendall lad was not having any of it, and had his sights firmly set on Brookes, and at Montreal the two bikes were side by side, but Ellison took advantage of a small mistake from the Aussie, allowing Byrne to storm on ahead.


The leading foursome had a five second lead of Kiyo who was unable to catch up with Bridewell, but the triple champ still had a one second lead over Linfoot and Walker. At the front of the field Byrne was stretching his lead but 1.3 seconds, going faster than the best lap set by Bridewell – a 1’48.119 with only a handful of laps left.


On lap 13 Tsingtao’s stand-in rider Peter Hickman had a technical problem and pulled into the pits, on only his second day onboard the beer backed Kawasaki; ending any hopes of some points in race one. Buildbase BMW’s Westmoreland fell at Nelson while in tenth place, but was declared OK at the track side on the same rotation.


The battle for second hotted by three laps towards the end and Brookes passed Ellison on the Bentley straight to snatch back the second spot from the Brit. On the penultimate lap there was another battle – this time for sixth place between GBmoto’s Chris Walker and Quattro Plant Kawasaki’s Dan Linfoot. The younger of the pair was sitting pretty in sixth for the majority of the race but Walker came back strong and overtook Linfoot.


On the final lap Brookes found some extra pace and closed the gap to 0.4 seconds on Byrne and pulled away from Ellison, but the Bringelly rider went wide in the dirt but managed to compose himself to keep second, but his chance of a win went away from him and in the end Byrne had a four second lead over Brookes, Ellison, Bridewell and Kiyo – who rounded up the top five.


Walker managed to hold on to sixth, with Linfoot, Muff and the Tyco Suzuki duo of John Hopkins and Josh Waters completing the top ten. WD40’s Barry Burrell clinched his first points of the season – after finishing the opening race in eleventh, just in front of Anvil Hire Tag Racing’s Richard Cooper and FFX Yamaha’s Ian Hutchinson.



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