Josh Brookes put yesterday’s qualifying disappointment behind him with victory in the second race of the weekend at Oulton Park. The championship leader took his seventh win in eight races as the misfortune switched from his machine to Shane Byrne’s, the PBM rider’s Kawasaki breaking down two laps from home.
With Brookes starting from the front of the grid this time, rather than the back, the stage was set for a fascinating head-to-head between the two but Tommy Bridewell kept them honest early on. The Tyco BMW rider dropped out of contention in dramatic fashion though with a highside at Cascades on lap five, eliminating him for third place and ensuring his showdown spot will not be confirmed until today’s final race.
His place in the top six came under greater threat with Honda’s Dan Linfoot climbing to third, putting him in place to gain sixteen points on the showdown six. His chances took a knock when he lost the place to the inspired Danny Buchan but the drama on the penultimate lap promoted him to back into third as Byrne’s PBM Kawasaki ground to a halt.
Brookes was left to claim an unchallenged victory from Buchan and Linfoot whose sixteen points have now moved him to within seven of sixth-placed Stuart Easton in the championship chase. The Hawick rider sat out race two due to his ongoing injury problems and with his participation in race three also out of the question, Linfoot heads into race three knowing that eighth or better will see him snatch the final showdown spot.
Luke Mossey was a fine fourth ahead of James Ellison and Peter Hickman while Michael Laverty could only manage seventh, keeping him waiting for confirmation of a showdown slot. Richard Cooper knows his fate though with eighth not enough to keep him in the hunt.