Josh Brookes was relentless in his quest for victory in the final MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship race of the weekend at Oulton Park as the Milwaukee Yamaha rider put on a dominating show to halt Ryuichi Kiyonari scoring a hat trick of victories in Cheshire.
Josh Brookes commented after his win in race three: “I knew I needed to get away as there was one real dry line and you would have to go off on the damp part to make an overtake otherwise and that wouldn’t have been easy! I tried really hard to get a good start as I knew I wanted to lead and I had the feeling that the likes of Kiyo would want to have a go so I wanted to give myself the best possible chance. I had a massive lunge into the first corner and I was fortunately able to take the lead. Once I got there I was then thinking ‘I really wanted that, but now I have got it, how fast should I go?’
“The first lap through Druids I didn’t have movement, but I had the sense of where the grip is and I wasn’t sure if it was too much. Once I got into it, I felt more natural and then there was some light rain. I waited to see lap on lap and fortunately it stayed dry so I kept pushing on. Yesterday I didn’t relax physically, but I did slightly mentally and then Kiyo came by me and I didn’t want that to happen again so I kept the gas on! I am really happy with the win and now we will see if we can do it again at Cadwell Park.”
Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW), overcame his earlier crash in Datatag qualifying to claim the opening race win at Oulton Park by just 0.496s from Josh Brookes and Shane Byrne.
The BMW rider doubled up with a win in the second race of the triple-header weekend as he defied the intense pressure from rivals Josh Brookes and Shane Byrne to win by 0.167s in drying conditions.
At the start Byrne got off to a flying start from the pole position, but Brookes was instantly hounding his title rival and on the third lap he made a decisive move at Old Hall to hit the front for the Milwaukee Yamaha team. His spell at the front was short lived though as he ran wide on the exit of Cascades which gave Byrne the opportunity he needed to move back ahead.
As the pair diced at the front, Kiyonari was carving his way through the field from his tenth place grid start after he crashed out in Q2 earlier this afternoon. Kiyonari was decisive and was moving up the order every lap and after making moves on Dan Linfoot and Tommy Bridewell he was soon in close contention to the leading pair.
Brookes moved back ahead of Byrne at Hizzys on the fifth lap and then the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider had Kiyonari to contend with as he bid to hold on to second place. The triple title-winners then duelled for second place, with Kiyonari taking the edge with a move down the inside at Lodge on the ninth lap.
A lap later and he had caught and made a move on Brookes and then despite coming under pressure from the Australian on the closing laps he held on to claim his third win of the season ahead of Brookes and Byrne.
Tommy Bridewell held on to fourth place after getting ahead of Dan Linfoot, who made a return to the top five for the Quattro Plant Kawasaki team with another strong performance. Tyco Suzuki’s John Hopkins had his best result since the opening round of the season in sixth place.
Peter Hickman held seventh place for the RAF Reserves Honda team with Josh Waters, Stuart Easton and Howie Mainwaring completing the top ten.
Race 1 results
1. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW)
2. Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.496s
3. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +2.011s
4. Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) +4.362s
5. Dan Linfoot (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +5.981s
6. John Hopkins (Tyco Suzuki) +7.149s
7.Peter Hickman (RAF Reserves Honda) +8.501s
8. Josh Waters (Tyco Suzuki) +10.690s
9. Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +13.781s
10. Howie Mainwaring (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +14.519s
As the track continued to dry, the grid made their decision on tyre choice, with the majority of the leading contenders opting for the slick Pirelli tyres. As the race got underway Brookes fired the Milwaukee Yamaha off the line and instantly tried to break away from the pack, but despite his best efforts Kiyonari and Byrne soon reeled him back in on the opening lap.
The trio had been leading the pack from the start and Kiyonari was looking intent on moving ahead of Brookes at the earliest opportunity, which he did with a move at Hizzys down the inside on the eighth lap. The chasing pair then tried everything to regain the lead; however the Japanese ace had the edge.
The battle for fourth was held by Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki’s Chris Walker throughout the race, but on the final lap he was under pressure from the four riders behind who had closed the gap with Dan Linfoot, Stuart Easton, Tommy Bridewell and Jon Kirkham attacking hard.
The pack were four-wide into Lodge for the final time but Linfoot had the edge, he out dragged Walker to the line to steal the fourth position at the last possible opportunity with ‘Stalker’ having to settle for fifth. Easton held onto sixth with Bridewell and Kirkham close behind. Josh Waters and Patric Muff completed the top ten.
Race 2 results
1. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW)
2. Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.167s
3. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +1.199s
4. Dan Linfoot (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +23.664s
5. Chris Walker (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +23.819s
6. Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +23.842s
7. Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) +24.081s
8. Jon Kirkham (Halsall Biker Gear Kawasaki) +24.224s
9. Josh Waters (Tyco Suzuki) +26.377s
10. Patric Muff (Bathams BMW) +30.284s
On a drying track Brookes instantly fired himself off the line to lead the pack and then consistently set lap times faster than his rivals to edge out an advantage. Brookes pushed hard lap after lap to maintain his lead over Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne in second to claim his fourth victory of the season and close again in the podium points standings.
Byrne was holding a comfortable second but then as the last three laps approached he was rapidly being closed down by the pack fighting for third position, led by Dan Linfoot. The Quattro Plant Kawasaki rider was holding third after making a move on Stuart Easton earlier in the race at Old Hall to put himself in contention for his first podium finish.
Linfoot and Easton had been swapping positions but behind they were also under threat from Kiyonari, Josh Waters, Tommy Bridewell and Chris Walker who had all been dicing over the opening laps.
Byrne was losing the gap and as the final laps got underway Linfoot made a move on lap 15 at Old Hall but the championship leader wasn’t giving an inch. He ran alongside the Quattro Plant Kawasaki rider on the run down Lakeside to move back ahead by the narrowest of margins.
Byrne held off Linfoot for second with the Yorkshire rider celebrating his first podium finish in the championship. He held off Kiyonari on the drag to the line from Deer Leep for the final time with Easton completing the top five.
Waters held off Walker for sixth place with Bridewell having to settle for eighth place on the second Milwaukee Yamaha. Jon Kirkham and Jakub Smrz completed a top ten that featured five different manufacturers.
Race 3 results
1. Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha)
2. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +7.509s
3. Dan Linfoot (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +7.986s
4. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) +8.111s
5. Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +10.049s
6. Josh Waters (Tyco Suzuki) +10.430s
7. Chris Walker (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +11.067s
8. Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) +12.451s
9. Jon Kirkham (Halsall Biker Gear Kawasaki) +12.948s
10. Jakub Smrz (Millsport Ducati) +24.728s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Oulton Park race three:
1 Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 313
2 Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) 244
3 Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) 202
4 Dan Linfoot (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) 156
5 Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) 142
6 Chris Walker (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) 136
The next round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, takes place at Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire over the August Bank Holiday of 23/24/25 August.