Josh Brookes finally took his first victory of the 2013 British Superbike Championship on a hot day’s racing at Brands Hatch on Sunday. The Australian took advantage of a crash for series leader Shane Byrne to win race one before ‘Shakey’ struck back in the second but Brookes now trails by 22 points in the title chase with Alex Lowes one point nearer to Byrne.
Byrne’s crash in race one came as he attempted to prise the lead from Brookes at Hawthorns with the Tyco Suzuki rider holding off Alex Lowes in the closing stages. Despite a slightly disappointing fourth later in the day, Josh was delighted with his day given the near-misses earlier in the season.
“Winning the first race felt really good; that goes without saying, although I do feel I’ve been riding as hard as the guys who have been winning all season. I try hard in every race, but more than anything I’m really proud of the team. At each round we keep making progress and I’ve also been trying to improve my riding. I was struggling for grip at the end of the race and had some big slides but we held on for the win. In the second race we never changed a thing on the bike, but I just had no grip; so what can I say.”
There would be no denying Byrne in race two although James Ellison, winner here on the opening day, and Lowes did run him close. The home favourite held on though and dedicated the victory to his team who were forced into action by his race one tumble.
“I feel much better now than what I did after the first race, that’s for sure. I had a plan for the first race and it was all coming to fruition but no sooner had I got the lead from Josh Brookes than I was down. The team worked really hard in between races to get the bike ready and to bounce back with a win is brilliant. I made a good start and realised the importance of the win so a big thanks to the team, that victory’s for them.”
The top three remain clear at the top of the championship standings and look set to confirm their showdown places at the Oulton Park triple header in two weeks’ time. The other three spots are still up for grabs although Ellison’s fine second has given him a twenty point buffer while Ryuichi Kiyonari is ten points inside the cut-off point after a third podium in five races.
The last place is currently straight fight between Buildbase BMW’s Jon Kirkham and James Westmoreland but the two are now level on points after Westmoreland’s stronger weekend. Kirkham’s best result of the day was sixth in the opener but given his horrendous qualifying, that will be seen as a major save.
|2013 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship|
|Riders’ Championship Standings After Round 6: Brands Hatch GP|
|1||Shane Byrne||Kawasaki||Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki||8||232|
|2||Alex Lowes||Honda||Samsung Honda||2||211|
|3||Josh Brookes||Suzuki||Tyco Suzuki||1||210|
|4||James Ellison||Yamaha||Milwaukee Yamaha||1||120|
|5||Ryuichi Kiyonari||Honda||Samsung Honda||110|
|6||Jon Kirkham||BMW||Buildbase BMW Motorrad||100|
|7||James Westmoreland||BMW||Buildbase BMW Motorrad||100|
|8||Chris Walker||Kawasaki||Quattro Plant Kawasaki||75|
|9||PJ Jacobsen||Suzuki||Tyco Suzuki||71|
|10||Keith Farmer||Kawasaki||Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki||64|
|11||Peter Hickman||Honda||Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Honda||53|
|12||Tommy Bridewell||Honda||Bathams Honda||42|
|13||Dan Linfoot||Honda||Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Honda||40|
|14||Josh Waters||Yamaha||Milwaukee Yamaha||39|
|15||Jakub Smrz||Honda||Padgetts Honda||36|
|16||Howie Mainwaring||Kawasaki||MH Kawasaki||36|
|17||Michael Rutter||Honda||Bathams Honda||34|
|18||Matteo Baiocco||Ducati||Rapido Sport Racing||26|
|19||Robbin Harms||Honda||Doodson Motorsport Honda||22|
|20||Karl Harris||Kawasaki||PR Racing Kawasaki||19|
|21||Tristan Palmer||Honda||Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Honda||13|
|22||Martin Jessopp||BMW||Riders Motorcycles||10|
|23||Lee Costello||Kawasaki||Halsall Racing Kawasaki||8|
|24||Danny Buchan||Kawasaki||Quattro Plant Kawasaki||5|
|25||Aaron Zanotti||Suzuki||Aaron Zanotti Racing||2|
|26||Michael Howarth||Kawasaki||MH Kawasaki||1|
|27||Jenny Tinmouth||Honda||Two Wheel Racing||1|
|Next Round: Oulton Park (August 11th)|