Josh Brookes has opened up a 28 point lead in the race for the British Superbike Championship crown after completing a superb double at Assen on Sunday. In tricky conditions, the Milwaukee Yamaha rider first chased down Dan Linfoot before overcoming the challenge of James Ellison to take his seventh win of the season.
With so much on the line, the race didn’t need any extra tension but a rain shower on the formation lap did exactly that, forcing race direction to abort the start to allow a change of tyres on the grid. With conditions improving quickly, precious few riders took that option but showdown outsider Dan Linfoot did take the gamble, giving him an early advantage.
Within two laps, Linfoot was 3.6 seconds clear of Brookes in second but it was there that the wet tyres outlived their usefulness. By the end of lap four, the Honda rider had been swallowed up by the slick-shod riders behind but the lead was handed over, not to Brookes, but to Luke Mossey who was enjoying an outstanding race in the slippery conditions.
An error at Stekkenwal had relegated Brookes to fifth and while he was busy regaining lost ground, Ellison had fought his way to the front, putting 2.5s of empty tarmac between himself and the championship leader. Brookes wasn’t finished yet though and once he had navigated his way through to second, the Australian unleashed a blistering sequence of laps to wipe out the deficit.
With three laps to go, Brookes finally seized control at Ruskenhoek and although Ellison had the pace to keep on touch, he was unable to launch a counter attack and had to settle for back-to-back second places. Mossey’s bravery was rewarded with a podium finish in third while Richard Cooper took fourth ahead of Shane Byrne who paid the price for a cautious start.
Christian Iddon was seventh ahead of Jack Kennedy and Chris Walker while Tyco BMW’s showdown hopes were all-but destroyed with Michael Laverty ninth and Tommy Bridewell an early retirement. After his tyre gamble backfired, Dan Linfoot was 22nd, the thick end of a lap behind.