Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha Team) celebrated a double victory in the sixth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Thruxton on Sunday claiming a stylish double win at the Hampshire circuit.
In the opening race of the day Brookes instantly fired into winning contention, taking the lead on the seventh lap before edging out his rivals to win the race by just over four seconds in imperious style.
In the second race Brookes again headed off series leader Shane Byrne to score his first double victory of the season to close on points in the overall standings.
On the opening lap Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki’s Dan Linfoot led the race for the first time in his career with Brookes and Byrne in close contention.
Brookes had to wait until the seventh lap before he could make a move stick on Linfoot, with a lunge down the inside into Club, cutting back and defending on the exit where Linfoot had no chance of making an instant comeback.
Ryuichi Kiyonari had been ninth over the opening laps but he had been carving his way through the field and was closing on the leading trio of Brookes, Linfoot and Byrne after getting ahead of the second pack which included Tommy Bridewell, Chris Walker and pole-sitter Jakub Smrz who had to make up ground after a bad start.
Byrne was aware of the closing Buildbase BMW and he made a move on Linfoot at the Complex on the ninth lap, but by that stage the Japanese ace was on the back wheel of the pair as Brookes had edged out an advantage.
Kiyonari made a decisive move at Club with two laps remaining to set his sights on stealing second place from Byrne. As Brookes held a four second lead the intense battle was then on between Byrne and Kiyonari. Byrne led on the last lap but Kiyonari made his first attack at Cobb as he pushed the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider back to third.
Byrne had his last chance to make a move into Club which he did with a strong move on the brakes, the Kent ace anchored up the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki to make the chicane and despite Kiyonari looking for an opportunity to come back he had to settle for third on the drag to the line.
Linfoot scored his best result with a strong fourth place ahead of the second pack which was led by Bridewell on the second of the Milwaukee Yamahas ahead of Smrz, Walker and Hopkins. Bathams BMW’s Michael Rutter and Patric Muff completed the top ten.
Results race one
1. Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha)
2. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +4.306s
3. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) +5.058s
4. Dan Linfoot (Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki) +6.039s
5. Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) +7.616s
6. Jakub Smrz (Millsport Ducati) +11.698s
7. Chris Walker (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +11.891s
8. John Hopkins (Tyco Suzuki) +12.144s
9. Michael Rutter (Bathams BMW) +12.610s
10. Patric Muff (Bathams BMW) +12.787s
Josh Brookes celebrated his first double win in the 2014 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Thruxton by holding off his arch title rivals and triple champions Shane Byrne and Ryuichi Kiyonari with just 0.467s covering the top three.
The race started with Byrne making a flying start off the line to lead the pack from Dan Linfoot and Brookes, however after the initial scrapping between the contenders there was disappointment for Tommy Bridewell as he was forced to retire his Milwaukee Yamaha with a technical problem. His retirement left oil on the circuit and the race was red flagged to clear the line.
The race was soon restarted and again Byrne took the advantage on the opening lap from Linfoot, Chris Walker and Brookes. The Stalker is renowned to be one of the most difficult riders to pass but Brookes was soon on the case and he pulled a move out of the bag at Club on the second lap to move ahead.
Walker was back on the counter attack and he returned the move on Brookes a lap later, whilst at the front Linfoot had surged into the lead ahead of Byrne. The Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki rider’s position was only for a brief spell though as the championship leader pounded ahead at Club on the same lap.
Byrne held his position at the front but Linfoot was then coming under fire from Walker who made an impressive move on the fifth lap at Village to move second on the lone Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki. However the pair were soon to be pushed back down the order as Brookes pulled a sensational move into Club a lap later into Club to move from fourth to second in one fell swoop.
Brookes then had Byrne in his sights and he dived ahead at Seagrave a few corners later to hit the front of the pack. Byrne and Linfoot were in close contention but Kiyonari was closing rapidly and on the eleventh lap he slip-streamed Linfoot on the run up Woodham Hill to move third. Brookes held the lead on the final lap from Byrne and Kiyonari and the pair were dicing for second but the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider emerged ahead to repeat the race one podium line up.
Linfoot claimed his best points haul of the season with another fourth place finish and behind Walker held off a charge from Jon Kirkham to finish fifth. Stuart Easton recovered from a tough qualifying yesterday to finish seventh ahead of the leading Tyco Suzuki of John Hopkins. Howie Mainwaring and Peter Hickman on the RAF Reserves Honda completed the top ten.
Bridewell’s home round ended in disappointment with a technical problem forcing him out of the action, but ready to come out fighting at Oulton Park in just four day’s time.
Results race two
1. Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha)
2. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.204s
3. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) +0.467s
4. Dan Linfoot (Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki) +3.343s
5. Chris Walker (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +7.734s
6. Jon Kirkham (Halsall Biker Gear Kawasaki) +8.481s
7. Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +8.886s
8. John Hopkins (Tyco Suzuki) +9.039s
9. Howie Mainwaring (Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki) +10.452s
10. Peter Hickman (RAF Reserves Honda) +10.532s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Thruxton
Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 261
Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) 179
Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) 139
James Ellison (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) 124
Chris Walker (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) 116
Dan Linfoot (Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki) 116
The next round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship is a triple-header weekend and takes place at Oulton Park in Cheshire this weekend (8/9/10 August).