Riding the VK backed Honda Fireblades, Byrne fought his way through the pack in race one to end up in a fine fourth place with Sykes doing likewise in race two to end up in fifth as the most hotly contested championship in recent years was played out in front of over 40,000 fans at the Kent circuit.
In an incident strewn second race, Byrne was looking good for a podium finish when he was edged out at the 150mph Hawthorn Bend but luckily stayed aboard and rejoined the track to finish the race in thirteenth position.
Meanwhile, twenty one year old Yorkshireman Sykes also scored good points in race one when he brought the Paul Bird Motorsport machine home in seventh place and now lies in fifth in the Championship with Byrne unfortunate to leave Brands in seventh place.
Shane Byrne: “In the first race I did exactly what I needed to do but the second race was really frustrating because I did exactly the same and I thought I had it in the bag and then the pace car came out and put a stop to it. I had a coming together with another rider and ran straight on and lost a lot of places but I’m looking forward to Thruxton now as we should go well there.”
Tom Sykes: “After the first race we went for the safe option with our set up but unfortunately from the word go I struggled with grip. The pace car came out and I just thought it was my chance to do something so I got my head down and managed to get up to fifth. To get a seventh and fifth place in that company is quite pleasing but obviously I’m looking to improve as the season goes on. I’m looking forward to next weekend and I’d like to thank all the team for everything they’ve done for me this weekend.”
Paul Bird: “It’s nice to see that both riders are competitive and are racing for rostrum places. We’re chuffed to bits with Tom, he did exactly what we knew he was capable of. Shakey was a bit unlucky in the second race but it shows that both the bikes and riders are more than capable of running at the front. It’s a good start to the year.”
The Stobart Team has only three days to prepare for the next round which takes place next weekend (13-15th April) at Thruxton whereby the two riders will be looking to continue their great start to the season and clinch the team’s first podium of the year also.
Race 1 Result
1, Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) 28m56.903s, 2, Leon Camier (Honda) +1.701s, 3, Jonathan Rea (Honda) +4.576s, 4, Shane Byrne (Stobart Vent Axia Motorsport Honda) +5.699s, 5, Chris Walker (Suzuki) +6.357s, 6, Leon Haslam (Ducati) +14.868s, 7, Tom Sykes (Stobart Vent Axia Motorsport) +20.794s, 8, Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) +21.760s, 9, Tommy Hill (Yamaha) +26.591s, 10, Michael Rutter (Kawasaki) +30.829s.
Race 2 Result
1, Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) 31m09.132s, 2, Jonathan Rea (Honda) +1.308s, 3, Leon Camier (Honda) +2.103s, 4, Leon Haslam (Ducati) +3.834s, 5, Tom Sykes (Stobart Vent Axia Motorsport Honda) +10.456s, 6, Karl Harris (Honda) +10.465s, 7, Michael Rutter (Kawasaki) +11.154s, 8, Chris Walker (Suzuki) +11.261s, 9, Simon Andrews (Yamaha) +11.676s, 10, Dean Thomas (Suzuki) +12.317s… 13, Shane Byrne (Stobart Vent Axia Motorsport Honda) +15.667s.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship Positions after Round 2
1, Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) 50pts
2, Leon Camier (Honda) 36pts
=, Jonathan Rea (Honda) 36pts
4, Leon Haslam (Ducati) 23pts
5, Tom Sykes (Stobart Vent Axia Motorsport Honda) 20pts
6, Chris Walker (Suzuki) 19pts
7, Shane Byrne (Stobart Vent Axia Motorsport Honda) 16pts
8, Michael Rutter (Kawasaki) 15pts
9, Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) 13pts
10, Simon Andrews (Yamaha) 12pts