Defending MCE Insurance British Superbike Champion Shane 'Shakey' Byrne returned to winning ways in the opening race at Snetterton, scoring his first victory since the opening round of the season to move back to the top of the standings.
Byrne started his race with the best possible start, firing into the lead from the pole position ahead of Jason O'Halloran, Michael Laverty and Stuart Easton as the race got underway in Norfolk.
James Ellison was trying to move up the order from his tenth place grid position, but he ran out at the end of the Bentley Straight on the opening lap which dropped him further down the pack and he was later forced to retire his JG Speedfit Kawasaki, relinquishing his position at the top of the standings.
At the front Byrne was lapping in imperious form, but Josh Brookes
was on the move and he was carving his way up the order on the Milwaukee Yamaha. He had settled into sixth place over the opening laps and then gradually picked off the opposition, dispensing with Easton first and then the Tyco BMW pairing of Michael Laverty and Tommy Bridewell after the two team-mates had been locked in an earlier battle between themselves. Laverty's race though was to end prematurely when a technical problem forced him to retire.
At the front Byrne still commanded the pack but Brookes had moved ahead of Bridewell with a move on the brakes at the end of the Bentley Straight to move into third and then he had to close the deficit to O'Halloran ahead of him. The Milwaukee Yamaha rider though proved his consistent pace again in the race and he chipped away to close down his Honda Racing rival and then made a decisive move on the eleventh lap at Murrays.
Brookes was doing everything possible to close down Byrne, but as the laps ticked down it just wasn't enough and he had to settle for second ahead of O'Halloran in third with a lonesome Bridewell in fourth.
"That race was actually a lot harder than it looked, I had a good start and then in the first couple of laps were half sensible." Byrne said. "I know everyone seems to use the excuse of electrical problems but my bike developed some sort of problem where the quicker I opened the throttle the more aggressive it became - it was like the quick-shifter was working but I wasn't changing gear.
"I needed to be really smooth on the throttle and a couple of times it nearly caught me out, so that was causing me a few problems and I kept thinking 'I just need to nurse it home', so I tried to keep my lap times really consistent and I could see that luckily I had a gap because for sure if Josh [Brookes] or Jason [O'Halloran] were right on my back wheel it wouldn't have been ideal and I wouldn't have had much more to give really.
"I know without a shadow of a doubt that the team will find out what the problem was and have it sorted for race two. Hopefully in race two we will start as strong and maintain the pace to try and keep a gap at the front to try and make it a double."
However behind the sole Tyco BMW of Bridewell in fourth there was an intense scrap for fifth place with a six-way dice between Dan Linfoot, Chris Walker, Easton, team-mates Howie Mainwaring and Luke Mossey plus Richard Cooper.
The positions changed every lap over the closing stages and Linfoot held the position to claim fifth in his first race back from injury as Walker scored his best result of the season in sixth place for the Be Wiser Kawasaki team ahead of Easton.
Mainwaring was able to get the better of his Quattro Plant Kawasaki team-mate to finish eighth with Richard Cooper complete the top ten, whilst a problem for Ryuichi Kiyonari meant the Buildbase BMW rider finished in 19th place.
Shane 'Shakey' Byrne strengthened his title defence by winning the second MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship race at Snetterton, scoring his first double victory of the season for the PBM Kawasaki team in an incident-filled race two.
Byrne again had a flying start from the pole-position to lead the pack into Riches for the first time with the Australian contenders Josh Brookes, Jason O'Halloran and Broc Parkes in close contention.
Ryuichi Kiyonari's disappointing weekend continued when he crashed out of the second race at Agostini corner, the Japanese rider was able to walk away and as the frantic opening laps continued the rest of the pack continued to jostle for positions. The Nissan GT-R Safety Car was then deployed when Taylor Mackenzie's Team WD-40 Kawasaki engulfed in flames on the third lap.
When the race resumed the leading quartet were scrapping to keep the advantage and Chris Walker was pushing hard for the Be Wiser Kawasaki team; he was holding fourth place until he crashed at Riches on the sixth lap.
At the front Byrne was edging ahead as the pack continued to tussle for the positions and O'Halloran was first to fight back, making a move on Brookes at the Bombhole on the sixth lap, as his fellow countryman experienced a problem that saw him drop down the order. Brookes had dropped down behind James Ellison and his team-mate Broc Parkes, but a resurgent Michael Laverty was also throwing himself into the mix.
O'Halloran, Ellison, Laverty and Brookes then diced for second place as Parkes dropped back down the order and Honda Racing's O'Halloran was holding off Brookes, who had made his way back into contention. However by the twelfth lap the Milwaukee Yamaha rider moved back ahead at Nelsons.
Brookes held off O'Halloran to claim second place with the Tyco BMW pairing of Laverty and Tommy Bridewell holding fourth and fifth with Stuart Easton claiming sixth after making a move on Ellison in the closing stages.
Filip Backlund, Christian Iddon and Dan Linfoot completed the top ten.
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Snetterton, race one result:
Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki)
Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +2.685s
Jason O'Halloran (Honda Racing) +5.013s
Tommy Bridewell (Tyco BMW) +8.134s
Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +14.134s
Chris Walker (Be Wiser Kawasaki) +14.592s
Stuart Easton (PBM Kawasaki) +15.454s
Howie Mainwaring (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +15.613s
Luke Mossey (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +16.029s
Richard Cooper (Anvil Hire TAG Racing) +16.478s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Snetterton, race two result:
Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki)
Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +4.676s
Jason O'Halloran (Honda Racing) +5.404s
Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) +5.471s
Tommy Bridewell (Tyco BMW) +6.323s
Stuart Easton (PBM Kawasaki) +9.146s
James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +10.248s
Filip Backlund (Anvil Hire TAG Racing) +10.627s
Christian Iddon (Bennetts Suzuki) +10.868s
Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +10.930s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Snetterton:
Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki) 151
Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) 134
James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 118
Stuart Easton (PBM Kawasaki) 99
Tommy Bridewell (Tyco BMW) 77
Jason O'Halloran (Honda Racing) 74
For Full Results and Championship Standings CLICK HERE