Shane Byrne clinched the British Superbike title yesterday with victory in the opening race of the 10th round at Cadwell Park.
The MonsterMob Ducati rider had to settle for third place in the second race as the Lincolnshire rider Steve Plater won in front of a record 36,250 crowd at his local circuit.
Byrne, who was determined to end a run of seven races without a victory, shrugged aside the bruising he had taken in a crash during qualifying to grab the lead from John Reynolds on the opening lap. Plater, riding Honda, briefly threatened before a machine problem halted him, and Byrne held off Reynolds in an intense duel.
He said: "I had to ride really hard over the last two laps, John was making life anything but easy. That was one of the hardest races I have ever had - I tried hard to break John but he was as strong as I expected him to be."
Earlier, Reynolds' team-mate, Yukio Kagayama, had been involved in a crash with Chris Heath during practice and was taken to hospital with serious pelvic injuries.