Josh Brookes proved tough enough to win a five-way fight for victory in the final race of the weekend at Oulton Park. The Australian became the third different winner of the weekend after fending off Shane Byrne while Alex Lowes, James Ellison and Tommy Bridewell provided plenty of entertainment behind.
After an early safety car period following a problem for Michael Rutter’s Bathams Honda which deposited fluid on the track, the frontrunners quickly distanced themselves from the rest of the field. Ryuichi Kiyonari had hoped to be a part of it after his podium in race two but a move by Bridewell at Hizzy’s chicane sent him down the escape road and out of contention.
Brookes certainly had to work hard for victory, falling to fourth at one point, but superb moves on Ellison at Shell Oils hairpin and Lowes at Druids brought him onto the tail of Byrne and the championship leader eventually had to give best on lap fourteen.
The Tyco Suzuki rider has now qualified for the end-of-season showdown along with Byrne and Lowes and he admitted that there was no way he was going to settle for anything but victory in race three.
“One of the guys said to me ‘that race was all about heart’, but to be honest it took more heart for me to finish fourth in the opening race of the weekend yesterday, when we still hadn’t mastered our set-up. In the end we had the package sorted on the GSX-R1000 and when it works I can ride to my true potential as I showed today. It was a real battle but I wasn’t prepared to lose that one and we now go to Cadwell looking for more podium credits as the all-important Showdown edges closer.”
After being demoted on the grid due to his earlier collision with Ellison, Lowes was satisfied with third with his rival right behind but few riders would have been happier than Bridewell who ended up just 1.2 seconds off the winner in fifth.
James Westmoreland gave his showdown hopes a welcome boost with sixth ahead of Keith Farmer, Howie Mainwaring and Jon Kirkham while Ryuichi Kiyonari scrambled his way back into the top ten despite his earlier issue.