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Shakey steals the show at Brands Hatch

Friday, April 22 2011

HM Plant Honda's Shane 'Shakey' Byrne set the pace in the final test session ahead of this weekend's opening round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch, stealing the advantage from John Hopkins in the final minutes.

Ten minutes into the hour-long session Hopkins set the benchmark with a 46.311s ahead of defending champion Ryuichi Kiyonari and his team-mate Jon Kirkham on the second of the Samsung Crescent Racing Suzukis.

Hopkins continued to set the pace, posting a faster lap with 35 minutes remaining to set a time of 46.300s before the session was red flagged when Dennis Hobbs crashed out at Paddock Hill Bend, he was suffering from concussion and was taken to the medical centre. At the time of the red flag Hopkins led the session from Kiyonari, Shane 'Shakey' Byrne and Michael Rutter.

The session was restarted and then it was Josh Brookes who put the Relentless Suzuki to the top of the times with less than 20 minutes remaining as he edged 0.226s ahead of Hopkins with Kiyonari still in third.

The session was then red flagged for the second time when Glen Richards crashed out at Druids whilst lying in tenth and the track was inspected for possible signs of oil, but it was shortly resumed.

Byrne then went to the top spot with a time of 46.056s ahead of Brookes and Hopkins but just a minute later it was Swan Yamaha's Tommy Hill that took his turn at the top only to be displaced by Hopkins within two minutes. Hopkins was the first rider to set a 45s lap with a time of 45.947s to move back to the top ahead of Hill, Byrne and Brookes.

Byrne waited until the final two minutes of the session to set his personal best time which put him ahead of Hopkins for the second time by just 0.170s and he held the position when the chequered flag was shown ahead of Hopkins and Hill.

Brookes dropped to fourth after a crash at Druids in the final two minutes of the session; the Australian was unhurt but unable to improve his time with Michael Laverty moving up to fifth on his final lap of the session.

Stuart Easton was the leading MSS Colchester Kawasaki in sixth ahead of Kirkham and Kiyonari who dropped to eighth with Gary Mason and Dan Linfoot completing the top ten.

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, final test:

1.Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) 45.777s
2.John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing) +0.170s
3.Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) +0.276s
4.Josh Brookes (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +0.297s
5.Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) +0.355s
6.Stuart Easton (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +0.355s
7.Jon Kirkham (Samsung Crescent Racing) +0.383s
8.Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) +0.471s
9.Gary Mason (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +0.618s
10.Dan Linfoot (Sorrymate.com Honda) +0.656s

Tomorrow's first free practice session for BSB starts at 11:40.

You can still purchase tickets for the Brands Hatch Easter opener of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship this weekend (22-25 April) on the gate with raceday adult admission 30, children 12 and under go free. For further ticket information call 0843 453 9000 or click the link below.