Published: 08:00, 23 July 2014
| Updated: 10:29, 23 July 2014
Sittingbourne rider Shane Byrne had a lucky escape when he was hit by a rival’s flying bike.
Byrne was struck when leader James Ellison crashed out at high speed during round five of the British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch on Sunday.
The bike cartwheeled across the track, hitting Shakey and squashing his finger between the handlebar and brake lever.
Ellison suffered hip and knee injuries in the accident on his Lloyds British GBmoto Kawasaki which happened at Dingle Dell on lap three of the second race.
Byrne said: “It was luck as much as anything else that I stayed on the bike. There was a split-second where I rolled out the throttle, chose which way to go and hoped it would pan out all right.
“The instant it happened I thought ‘oh no, this is going to be monumental’ because I was fully expecting to hit his bike and be thrown over the top. I thought I’d broken my finger but I shook it about and it came back to life.”
Byrne went on to finish fifth after two restarts, riding a conservative race, safe in the knowledge his title rivals were out of contention. The Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki man led the opening race from pole position before finishing runner-up to Ryuichi Kiyonari.
Byrne has extended his championship lead to 221-129 over Australian Josh Brookes and was also named King of Brands for scoring the most points over the weekend. It was the first time the title has been awarded since 1983.
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