Byrne and Lowes are ready for the final title fight at Brands Hatch

Byrne and Lowes are ready for the final title fight at Brands Hatch

Final Round    18-19-20 October     Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit

Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne kicked off the final round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship by showing title rival Alex Lowes that he means business as the defending champion topped the free practice times at his home circuit of Brands Hatch.

The two go head-to-head for the country’s premier crown with Byrne leading by a single point in the title stakes after an evenly matched campaign which continued into free practice as they each topped a free practice session at the Kent circuit today.

Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki’s Byrne put together a series of consistent laps in the afternoon session as he toppled his Samsung Honda rival from the top after he had set the pace in the morning damp opening practice.

Lowes aims to beat Byrne at his home circuit this weekend

Lowes aims to beat Byrne at his home circuit this weekend

Byrne, still suffering pain from the hip injury sustained in the previous round at Silverstone, said: “I know that we can improve the bike further as well as myself. I am riding in the protection zone at the moment but I know that I can push on a bit harder when I have to.”

Byrne’s team were working on the bike while he was having treatment from his osteopath to be in good shape for the first of the three races tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon when he faces again the ever present threat of the confident Lowes.

The action between them has been electrifying and Lowes is ready for another close trio of races following a photo finish last time out. He said: “I am feeling pretty good and ready. We have used a totally different set-up compared to the previous time we raced here and it is good to be right up there with still more to come.”

They have a winner takes all scenario but cannot take anything for granted with title outsider Josh Brookes closing in on them aboard the Tyco Suzuki to be third fastest today although Milwaukee Yamaha’s Title Fighter James Ellison has work to do having set only the seventh best time.


Free practice one:

1: Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) 1m:37.807s
2: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +0.153s
3: Freddy Foray (Samsung Honda) +1.745s
4: PJ Jacobsen (Tyco Suzuki) +2.848s
5: Michael Rutter (Bathams Honda) +3.388s
6: Chris Walker (Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki) +4.175s

Free practice two:

1: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 1m:25.959s
2: Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) +0.395s
3: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +0.689s
4: PJ Jacobsen (Tyco Suzuki) +0.839s
5: Chris Walker (Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki) +1.684s
6: Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) +1.691s

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