Tyco Suzuki’s Josh Brookes crashed-out of British Superbike race two today at Cadwell Park a couple of corners from home – and an almost-certain debut victory at the Mountain Circuit – but the Australian’s hard-charging ‘never-say-die’ attitude was well-received by the knowledgeable BSB fans at the Lincolnshire venue, who applauded his every effort.
With his end-of-season Showdown place guaranteed at the previous round, Brookes was never going to settle for a brace of third-placed finishes after standing on the bottom rung of the podium in the opening race. He hunted down Alex Lowes in race two with the fastest lap of the race on the penultimate lap, and then made the all-important pass to take the lead, only to slip-off at Mansfield just a few corners from home.
Alex Lowes claimed his first double win of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship in front of his home crowd, but the Samsung Honda rider came under intense pressure on the final lap with Tyco Suzuki’s Josh Brookes snatching the lead before crashing out of contention.
Brookes had hit the front of the field on the opening lap but it wasn’t long before race one winner Lowes made a move for the lead with a dive down the inside into Park corner. The Samsung Honda rider instantly came back under attack from Brookes, but Lowes held the position with Tommy Bridewell holding an impressive third place ahead of James Ellison and Shane Byrne.
Bridewell was constantly looking for a way to get ahead of Brookes and on the sixth lap he was given the opportunity when the Tyco Suzuki rider made an uncharacteristic mistake on the landing at the Mountain which unsettled him, and the Halsall Racing Kawasaki rider made a move into Hall Bends.
Ellison was then piling the pressure on Brookes and hassling the Tyco Suzuki rider, as he was pushing the Milwaukee Yamaha rider to try and make amends for his crash in the opening race. Brookes rode hard to keep him behind with Byrne also on the back of the lead pack.
At the front the battle was raging as Lowes held the advantage from Bridewell and Brookes, but in the closing stages the Australian upped the ante to first pass Bridewell on the penultimate lap with a move down the inside at the Hairpin. Brookes was then pushing to close in on Lowes and on the final lap he made a lunge down the inside into Park to hit the front of the pack again. Lowes was looking to get back ahead but on the run into Mansfield Brookes made an error and crashed out of the race unhurt.
Lowes claimed the double win as Samsung Honda celebrated at their home round whilst an emotional Bridewell equalled his best ever finish in the championship with a second place for Halsall Racing Kawasaki in only his second round with the team following a stunning performance as Ellison returned to the podium in third ahead of Byrne.
Lowes said: “It has been a fairytale weekend. That race was so hard and fair play to Josh as he stuck with me and pushed me. When he came passed me I thought no, I have led all this time and he has got me on the final lap, but then luck was on my side. I hope Josh is ok and I am sure he is going to come back strong at Donington. I want to thank my team and I am looking forward to the rest of the season.”
Ryuichi Kiyonari claimed a fifth place ahead of Chris Walker who held off Peter Hickman on the Lloyds British GBmoto Honda. The pair had been fighting it out with PJ Jacobsen but the Tyco Suzuki rider crashed out at Charlies on the ninth lap unhurt.
Aussie Josh Waters returned to the top ten on the second of the Milwaukee Yamahas ahead of the duelling Buildbase BMWs of James Westmoreland and Jon Kirkham.
Results race one
1. Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda)
2 Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +1.056s
3. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +1.969s
4. Tommy Bridewell (Halsall Racing Kawasaki) +4.626s
5. PJ Jacobsen (Tyco Suzuki) +14.827s
6. Chris Walker (Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki) +16.040s
Results race two
1. Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda)
2. Tommy Bridewell (Halsall Racing Kawasaki) +0.892s
3. James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) +4.371s
4. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +6.375s
5. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) +9.787s
6. Chris Walker (Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki) +16.095s
7. Peter Hickman (Lloyds British GBmoto Honda) +16.197s
8. Josh Waters (Milwaukee Yamaha) +17.379s
9. James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) +29.029s
10. Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) +31.420s
1. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 330
2. Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) 293
3. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) 284
4. James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) 174
5. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) 162
6. Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) 135