Byrne was holding third with only a handful of laps remaining when his rear tyre touched the painted white line at the bottom of Paddock Hill bend. The tyre slid and he crashed at over 120mph, causing the race to be stopped. Due to concussion he was forced to miss the second event.
Rizla Suzuki’s James Haydon finished ninth and sixth in the two weather-interrupted dramatic races, showing real determination in only his second race meeting back after missing four rounds due to injury. Ducati’s Leon Haslam won the second race but Honda’s Ryuichi Kiyonari won the first and was runner up in the next to take the 2007 British Superbike Championship title. Shakey finished sixth and Haydon 15th overall.
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP’s John Hopkins delighted the capacity Brands Hatch crowd with a string of demonstration laps aboard his ear-splitting GSV-R990. The MotoGP ace then spent the rest of the day with the Rizla Suzuki Superbike team, enjoying the race action.
Rizla Suzuki is back on track in two weeks time at the Race of the Year at Mallory Park in Leicestershire.
“I am disappointed to have finished the season with a crash. I have been on fire all weekend and really thought I could have won or at least got on the podium, but the damp conditions caught me out and I suffered a pretty big crash that gave me concussion and ruled me out of the second race.
“It’s been a challenging season but on a positive note I enjoyed riding this weekend and now know what it’s going to take to win the title in 2007. I’ll be back more determined than ever.”
“Ninth and sixth in the final round are ok but not really where I want to be; I am only happy when I am at the front going for victory. But given my lack of racing over the last months and the difficult wet and damp conditions, I will take the results with a smile.
“Thanks to Rizla Suzuki and the fans for all their support in 2006. Over the last couple of rounds my confidence has grown and I am already looking forward to next year. I wish today wasn’t the end of the season, but rather the start. I am hungry and can’t wait to get racing again.”
Robert Wicks - Team Manager:
“Rizla Suzuki is deflated after a weekend that promised so much but in the end delivered so little. Shakey was on race winning pace in practice and qualifying and then a wet white line punished him in the opening encounter, excluding him from the second race.
“James rode well to bring his Rizla Suzuki home in the top 10 in both races. He’s shown remarkable resilience coming back from serious injury and it’s a shame he didn’t race for the whole season as he would have finished much further up the Championship table if he had.
“Well done to Ryuichi Kiyonari for winning the 2007 British Superbike Championship. He is a worthy Champion and the team is genuinely pleased for him.
“Thanks to all of the sponsors and the army of loyal Rizla Suzuki fans that have supported the team all season through thick and thin. Rizla Suzuki goes to the Race of the Year in two weeks time and has already started planning for the 2007 season. We’ll be back to challenge Kiyo for his number one plate at the opening round next year.”
Race One Result: 1: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) 19:45.196, 2: Leon Haslam (Ducati) +0.181, 3: Michael Rutter (Honda) +16.501, 4: Tommy Hill (Yamaha) +32.561, 5: Glen Richards (Honda) +35.694, 6: Scott Smart (Suzuki) +1-lap, 7: Ben Wilson (Suzuki) +1-lap, 8: Simon Andrews (Yamaha) +1-lap, 9: James Haydon (Rizla Suzuki) +1 lap, 10: Chris Martin (Honda) +1-lap.
Race Two Result: 1: Haslam 22:02.916, 2: Kiyonari +8.772, 3: Jonathan Rea (Honda) +14.698, 4: Karl Harris (Honda) +17.939, 5: Michael Laverty (Honda) +27.586, 6: James Haydon (Rizla Suzuki) +32.449, 7: Billy McConnell (Yamaha) +38.623, 8: Rutter +40.544, 9: Richards (Honda) +41.621, 10: Wilson +1:03.322.
Final Championship Standings: 1: Kiyonari 466, 2: Haslam 458, 3: Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) 377, 4: Rea 248, 5: Harris 244, 6: Shane Byrne (Rizla Suzuki) 224, 7: Rutter 206, 8: Hill 187, 9: Laverty 179, 10: Richards 151, 15: James Haydon (Rizla Suzuki) 77.