Josh Brookes produced another magnificent display of dominance to win race one at Brands Hatch and with it, the 2015 British Superbike Championship. The Australian proved far too strong for Shane Byrne who fought valiantly to keep the title race alive with Brookes wrapping up the championship with two races to spare.
Brookes had taken pole position in a rain-affected qualifying session earlier this afternoon but Byrne was on a mission from the second row, diving past the Yamaha at Surtees. Brookes fought back at Westfield on lap five but was met with an instant and aggressive response from Byrne while the squabbles brought the chasing group, led by John Hopkins, into play.
The decisive moment came on lap twelve as Brookes edged ahead of Byrne at Stirling but crucially on this occasion, he was able to fend off the counter attack from the defending champion. With clear tarmac ahead of him, Josh unleashed the blistering pace from his Yamaha YZF-R1, pulling out over half a second per lap, and Byrne’s brave resistance was finally broken.
With a near-six-second advantage, Brookes was able to soak in the adulation of the Brands Hatch crowd as his long road to British Superbike glory finally brought the reward. With his twelfth win of the season, Josh was finally confirmed as British Superbike champion.
Byrne held onto second ahead of the impressive Hopkins who gave the Ducati Panigale its first BSB podium. Christian Iddon was a fine fourth for Bennetts Suzuki while Lee Jackson took fifth on the sole Buildbase BMW following the withdrawal of Richard Cooper through injury.
In Cooper’s absence, Luke Mossey gave his Rider’s Cup prospects a boost with seventh ahead of Danny Buchan and Michael Laverty while Jakub Smrz rounded out the top ten on day where his teammate dominated the headlines.