Josh Brookes put his recent disappointments behind him with a magnificent double victory at Thruxton on Sunday. The Australian had gone six races without a win and five without as much as a podium but ended his drought by leading home Shane Byrne and Ryuichi Kiyonari in both races.
After easing past early leader Dan Linfoot, Brookes asserted his authority in race one as the Quattro Plant Kawasaki rider fought to hang on to what would’ve been a maiden BSB podium. Byrne relegated him to third after pushing past at the Complex on lap nine before a fast-finishing Kiyonari dived up the inside at the Club chicane to deny him the last place on the rostrum just two laps from home.
The second race was halted after six laps with Milwaukee Yamaha once again at the centre of the action with Tommy Bridewell’s machine encountering mechanical problems, spilling fluids on the run-up to Club. A shortened fifteen lap sprint was guaranteed to provide a close finish but Brookes had an answer to everything Byrne and Kiyonari threw at him, claiming victory with the podium finishers covered by less than half a second on the line.
Brookes admitted he was relieved to have returned to winning ways and will now look forward to Oulton Park next weekend with renewed confidence.
“I am certainly pleased with the double win and it is a great result for Milwaukee Yamaha. I am really enjoying this moment of being back on the top step of the podium after some rounds where we haven’t been, but I think sometimes you have to remember that racing Superbikes isn’t easy. I kept pushing as hard as I could where I was strong and riding through the areas I didn’t feel as good. I maintained good lap times in the first race and the gap just grew and grew. It has been exciting for me to win and I want to see if we can do the same at Oulton Park now.”
Linfoot impressed again to take a fine fourth, matching his race one result, and with Chris Walker following him home in fifth, the pair have pushed the unfortunate Bridewell out of the showdown positions by four points, despite Tommy taking fifth himself in the opening race. Jon Kirkham saw off Stuart Easton for a superb sixth in race two but Jakub Smrz’s weekend went only one way following his surprise pole position. The Ducati rider made an appalling start to race one which prevented him from doing any better than sixth while a difficult second race left him with just three points for thirteenth.
|2014 MCE INSURANCE BRITISH SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP – RACE FOR THE SHOWDOWN
|1||SHANE BYRNE||261||2||JOSH BROOKES||179||3||RYUICHI KIYONARI||139|
|4||JAMES ELLISON||124||5||CHRIS WALKER||116||6||DAN LINFOOT||116|
|TOP SIX AFTER DONINGTON PARK WILL QUALIFY FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP SHOWDOWN
|7||TOMMY BRIDEWELL||YAMAHA||MILWAUKEE YAMAHA||112|
|8||STUART EASTON||KAWASAKI||RAPID SOLICITORS KAWASAKI||91|
|9||JOHN HOPKINS||SUZUKI||TYCO SUZUKI||80|
|10||RICHARD COOPER||KAWASAKI||ANVIL HIRE TAG RACING||69|
|11||JAKUB SMRZ||DUCATI||MILLSPORT DUCATI||56|
|12||JOSH WATERS||SUZUKI||TYCO SUZUKI||50|
|13||JON KIRKHAM||KAWASAKI||HALSALL BIKE GEAR||41|
|14||JAMES WESTMORELAND||BMW||BUILDBASE BMW MOTORRAD||39|
|15||MICHAEL RUTTER||BMW||BATHAMS PRIZE WINNING ALES||31|
|16||PATRIC MUFF||BMW||BATHAMS PRIZE WINNING ALES||27|
|17||KEITH FARMER||KAWASAKI||PR RACING KAWASAKI||23|
|18||BARRY BURRELL||KAWASAKI||TEAM WD40||23|
|19||BEN WILSON||KAWASAKI||GEARLINK KAWASAKI||22|
|20||PETER HICKMAN||HONDA||RAF RESERVES HONDA||22|
|21||MARTIN JESSOPP||BMW||RIDERSMOTORCYCLES.COM BMW||13|
|22||HOWIE MAINWARING||KAWASAKI||QUATTRO PLANT KAWASAKI||12|
|23||JULIEN DA COSTA||HONDA||HONDA RACING||11|
|24||IAN HUTCHINSON||YAMAHA||FFX YAMAHA||8|
|25||GARY MASON||KAWASAKI||ANVIL HIRE TAG RACING KAWASAKI||5|
|26||HARRY HARTLEY||KAWASAKI||HALSALL BIKE GEAR||4|
|27||JOHN INGRAM||KAWSAKI||MORELLO RACING||3|
|28||AARON ZANOTTI||SUZUKI||GGH/STEL SUZUKI||2|
|29||LEE JACKSON||BMW||BUILDBASE BMW MOTORRAD||1|
(Photos courtesy of Jon Jessop Photography, BSB Media and Milwaukee Yamaha)