Belfast Telegraph

Delighted Michael Laverty saves best to last at Brands Hatch in British Superbike Championship final

By Roy Harris

Tyco BMW's Michael Laverty ended the British Superbike Championship in style at Brands Hatch yesterday with the Toomebridge rider winning the final race of the season after an epic 20-lap battle with Shayne Byrne and James Ellison.

Laverty, who had finished ninth in Saturday's first race of three, upped his game considerably yesterday and finished third in the first of two races before taking his first win of the season for the Hector and Phillip Neill Tyco BMW team.

Delighted 34-year-old Laverty said: "I saved the best to last. Once I got to the front I just kept it smooth and was able to fend off the challenges. It has been a tough old season, but Tyco BMW stuck by me and it's nice to finish the season on top. Hopefully we'll be back next year to challenge for the championship."

In the final race, Byrne led for six laps before Laverty hit the front as the new BSB champion Josh Brookes, who won the first two races of the weekend, crashed out uninjured.

Laverty, Ellison and Byrne pulled clear of the rest of the field but it was the former who had the edge to take the victory to end the season in fourth position in the championship.

Josh Elliott (Morello Kawasaki) celebrated winning the British Superstock 1000cc championship at the last round by taking his fifth win of the season in style yesterday. Alastair Seeley disappeared from the action on lap five of 14, but still finished second in the championship.

In a good day for local riders yesterday, Glenn Irwin finished third in the Supersport race after a titanic battle with Jake Dixon, enough to give Irwin fourth in the championship

It was also announced that he is to leave the Supersport class to ride in the British Superbike Championship next year with the new Paul Bird Be Wiser factory supported Ducati Panigale R team.

Irwin said: "It is good to finish the season on the podium for the Gearlink Kawasaki team and my loyal sponsors who have backed me before I make the move to Superbikes next year."

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