Josh Brookes dominated the second race of the day at Thruxton to take his 39th Bennetts British Superbike Championship victory.
The Australian pulled the pin on lap eight and despite initial concerns over tyre life, it turned out that the McAMS Yamaha man had timed his getaway to perfection. This was victory number eight for Brookes at Thruxton, equalling Shane Byrne’s tally.
Peter Hickman took a sensational second after a race-long battle with Jake Dixon and Leon Haslam. Hickman’s second podium of race meeting is even more impressive given that he started the day in hospital with a kidney infection.
Dixon joined Brookes and Hickman on the podium, with race one winner Leon Haslam having to settle for fourth. Tarran Mackenzie was next up in fifth spot, ahead of Jason O’Halloran and Tommy Bridewell.
Luke Mossey took eighth, despite two trips off the track at the Club Chicane, with race one’s pole-sitter Glenn Irwin and Mason Law rounding out the top 10.
At the start of the race Dixon and Brookes both launched off the line to be first and second coming out of the first corner. As the field went into the Complex, Chrissy Rouse was pushed wide and crashed out of the race. Rouse seemed to be in some discomfort and was stretched away from the circuit.
Haslam went down the inside of Brookes heading into thee chicane at the end of the opening lap, but Brookes fought back immediately. There was another incident on lap three as Shaun Winfield and Danny Buchan came together and crashed out of the race.
At the end of the lap, Haslam tried his luck down the inside of Brookes once again and was able to keep the position. Moments later, Tom Neave crashed out of the race on his Honda.
O’Halloran moved ahead of Brookes on the fifth lap, only for the latter to sit him up on lap six and re-gain the position. Hickman took advantage of O’Halloran going wide to go down the inside and take fourth.
Brookes took second back from Haslam on lap six and set his sights on Dixon. The duo would exchange positions throughout lap seven, but Brookes finally got the better of his rival going into the Club Chicane.
After taking the lead of the race Brookes got his head down and began to pull away from the chasing pack. Behind him, a great battle was beginning between Hickman, Dixon and Haslam.
Hickman took second spot at Campbell, only for Dixon to take it straight back at the next corner. At the end of lap 10, Hickman went down the inside of Dixon at the chicane but Dixon fought straight back coming onto the start/finish straight. Hickman repeated the move at the end of the following lap and was able to make it stick, despite Dixon’s best efforts going into turn one.
Haslam would also move ahead of Dixon at the end of lap 12, going down the inside at the chicane. This setback allowed Mackenzie to get right onto the back of Dixon as he looked to join the podium fight.
On lap 15, Christian Iddon suffered a huge high-side coming out of the Club Chicane. The Tyco BMW man had been struggling with his tyres in the last couple of laps and hit the tyre wall hard.
Back at the front, Haslam made his move on Hickman to take second coming out of the chicane. Hickman was pushed slightly off the racing line, allowing Dixon to go down the inside at turn one and momentarily take the position away.
On lap 18 Hickman would return the favour to Haslam by re-taking second spot coming into the chicane. Hickman knew it would be a huge task to chase down Brookes, who now had a lead of around 1.6 seconds.
Onto the final lap and for a split moment it looked like Hickman could possible catch the Australian. It wasn’t to be however, and Brookes crossed the line to take victory, only +0.305 seconds clear of his rival. Behind them, Dixon made a last ditch move in the Complex to take the final podium spot away from Haslam.
The result leaves Brookes third in the championship standings, 20 points behind Dixon in second spot. Hickman’s double podium, alongside a double DNF for Buchan, means that the Smiths Racing BMW man is now only seven points outside the showdown places.