Josh Brookes - Photo Credit: Suzuki Racing

Josh Brookes - Photo Credit: Suzuki Racing


Josh Brookes made a perfect start to the decisive Brands Hatch meeting by setting the fastest time on the Indy circuit today. The Australian has a 41 point deficit to overturn if he is win the British Superbike Championship which narrowly eluded him last year, but showed in testing that he has the pace to run his rivals close.

Brookes had two of his challengers immediately behind him with Michael Laverty and Shane Byrne second and third but the Relentless Suzuki rider is only concentrating on his own performance.

“The boys had fine-tuned the bike a little to find some more horsepower. I'm carrying some decent confidence. The weekend really kicks off on Saturday which is going to be a big intense day, then on Sunday it is the normal two races and we'll be looking for more wins.”

EVO class frontrunner Graeme Gowland was a stand-out performer in fourth while Tommy Hill was three tenths off the pace in fifth. The Swan Yamaha rider suffered final day heartache last year but is confident of handling the pressure this time.

“I am trying to be more relaxed compared to how I was ahead of the final round of last season. I know I am mentally ready for these races.”

“I hope people understand that I crashed last year because of how hard I was fighting and how much I wanted to win the BSB title. I will be coming out fighting as hard as I can to win again this weekend and hopefully that will be enough to be the 2011 champion.”

Standing in his way will be John Hopkins, who holds an eight point lead going into this weekend's triple header. The American was sixth fastest today and will be taking an attacking approach to the deciding races.

“The points gap that I have is a great advantage but not really a comfort, the strategy still has to be ‘race to win’, anything less and we won’t have the championship. There’s mental pressure as well, but it’s nothing new to me, nothing I can’t deal with.”

Chris Walker was seventh quickest ahead of EVO champion Glen Richards and outgoing BSB champion Ryuichi Kiyonari while Alex Lowes completed the top ten for Motorpoint Yamaha.

The action will now switch from the Indy circuit to the Brands Hatch GP layout, with the all-important qualifying session scheduled for 13:05 and the opening race later on at 16:20.


2011 MCE British Superbike Championship with Pirelli & BSB-EVO

Final Round: Brands Hatch GP (Friday Test Session)

Pos Rider Nat Bike Team Time/Gap
1 Josh Brookes AUS Suzuki Relentless Suzuki by TAS 45.708
2 Michael Laverty GBR Yamaha Swan Yamaha +0.070
3 Shane Byrne GBR Honda HM Plant Honda +0.156
4 Graeme Gowland (E) GBR Honda Team WFR +0.260
5 Tommy Hill GBR Yamaha Swan Yamaha +0.344
6 John Hopkins USA Suzuki Samsung Crescent Racing +0.353
7 Chris Walker GBR Kawasaki Pr1mo Racing +0.536
8 Glen Richards (E) AUS Honda Team WFR +0.537
9 Ryuichi Kiyonari JAP Honda HM Plant Honda +0.587
10 Alex Lowes GBR Yamaha Motorpoint Yamaha +0.650
11 Dan Linfoot GBR Honda Tyco Honda +0.706
12 James Ellison GBR Honda Team +0.725
13 Peter Hickman GBR Honda Tyco Honda +0.734
14 Tommy Bridewell GBR Yamaha Motorpoint Yamaha +0.848
15 Gary Mason GBR Kawasaki MSS Colchester Kawasaki +0.861
16 James Westmoreland (N) GBR Honda Team WFR +0.891
17 Michael Rutter GBR Ducati Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati +1.050
18 Steve Brogan GBR Honda Jentin Racing Honda +1.094
19 Karl Harris (E) GBR Aprilia Splitlath Motorsport +1.160
20 Barry Burrell (E) GBR BMW Buildbase BMW Motorrad +1.169
21 Patric Muff (E) SWI Honda Tyco Honda +1.296
22 Steve Mercer GBR Honda Jentin Racing Honda +1.316
23 Ian Lowry GBR Kawasaki MSS Colchester Kawasaki +1.334
24 James Hillier (E) GBR Kawasaki Bournemouth Kawasaki Racing +1.395
25 David Anthony (E) AUS BMW Doodson Motorsport +1.434
26 Martin Jessopp GBR Ducati Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati +1.685
27 Scott Smart (E) GBR Ducati Moto Rapido Ducati +1.985
28 Aaron Zanotti (E) GBR BMW Quattro Plant Spike Racing +2.320
29 John Simpson (E) GBR Aprilia Splitlath Motorsport +2.574
30 Steve Heneghan (E) IRL Kawasaki PR Racing +2.913
107.5% Time: 49.136
31 Dan Kneen (E) GBR Kawasaki Marks Bloom Racing +3.939
32 Jon Kirkham GBR Suzuki Samsung Crescent Racing No Time
(E) – Evo Class (N) – 2012 Spec