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Byrne heads the pack into Brands Hatch qualifying

Saturday, July 20 2013

Shane 'Shakey' Byrne heads the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship pack into Datatag Extreme Qualifying this afternoon on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit as the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider toppled James Ellison from the top in the closing minutes of the final free practice.

In the early stages the pack shuffled continuously with Josh Brookes, Alex Lowes and Byrne switching positions at the top. The Samsung Honda of Lowes then held the position into the final ten minutes as the Snetterton race winner aims for Shakey at his home circuit, but then a strong lap from Ellison put him back at the top as the time ticked down in the closing stages. However Byrne had one last run in reserve and he topped the times for the second consecutive session ahead of the race one grid decider this afternoon.

Lowes maintained his third position from another strong performance from Buildbase BMW's James Westmoreland and Josh Brookes on the leading Tyco Suzuki. His team-mate PJ Jacobsen was back on track as the team overcame their issues from this morning, with the American ending sixteenth fastest on his debut on the Grand Prix circuit.

Jon Kirkham ended sixth fastest as he moved ahead of triple champion Ryuichi Kiyonari on the second of the Samsung Hondas and Chris Walker who was back inside the top ten. The final positions in the top ten were then also a scrap in the final stages as Michael Rutter moved ninth fastest on the Bathams Honda with Jakub Smrz completing the top ten.

It was a disappointing session for Josh Waters who crashed the Milwaukee Yamaha at Sheene Curve, but was unhurt and was only able to finish nineteenth. The PR Racing Kawasaki team made amends in twelfth as they got Karl Harris back on track after his crash at Stirlings in the opening session.

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch GP, free practice two:

  1. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 1m:26.025s
  2. James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.177s
  3. Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) +0.315s
  4. James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) +0.477s
  5. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +0.494s
  6. Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) +0.681s
  7. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) +0.849s
  8. Chris Walker (Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki) +1.028s
  9. Michael Rutter (Bathams Honda) +1.270s
  10. Jakub Smrz (Padgetts Honda) +1.275s

Adult tickets are available to purchase on the gate for all three days, whilst children 12 and under are admitted free. Brands Hatch offers sensational views around the circuit with giant TV screens to ensure you won't miss any of the action, and with excellent weather predicted this weekend it's set to be the biggest event of the season at Brands Hatch. For full event details   click here.