Josh Brookes takes first-ever BSB victory at Oulton Park

Someone told Josh Brookes on Friday that ‘race was all about heart’. Well the Tyco Suzuki rider proved he had plenty of that when he took his first-ever British Superbike victory at the Oulton Park triple-header event at the weekend.

This makes it two wins from 11 podiums for the Australian so far this season aboard his GSX-R1000, guaranteeing his place in the end-of-season Top Six Showdown.

Josh Brookes acknowledges the crowd after his brilliant win in the third race at Oulton Park on Sunday.

Sunday’s opening race saw Brookes take second place after his disappointment in race one where he finished fourth.

Josh Brookes
“One of the guys said to me ‘that race was all about heart’, but to be honest it took more heart for me to finish fourth in the opening race of the weekend yesterday, when we still hadn’t mastered our set-up. In the end we had the package sorted on the GSX-R1000 and when it works I can ride to my true potential as I showed today. It was a real battle but I wasn’t prepared to lose that one and we now go to Cadwell looking for more podium credits as the all-important Showdown edges closer.”

Race one
Milwaukee Yamaha’s James Ellison overcame pressure from defending champion Shane Byrne in the closing stages to win the opening MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship race of the weekend.

James Ellison holds off Shane Byrne to take out the first race at Oulton Park on Saturday.

Ellison had held a minimal advantage mid-way in the race but Byrne closed in over the final laps and was stalking the Milwaukee Yamaha. The Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider looked set to make a move on the final lap but Ellison was defending hard and was able to hold the position to the line.

At one stage Brookes was sitting in second place but Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) was able to score another podium finish when Brookes lost touch with Lowes in the closing stages, the latter having to settle for fourth.

Race 2
Defending champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne celebrated his impressive 50th MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship victory in the second race of the weekend holding off Josh Brookes in a dramatic 18 lap thriller.

Alex Lowes had been the rider to head the pack on the opening lap for Samsung Honda with race one winner James Ellison and Brookes tucked in behind. Byrne made his move on the second lap where a move on the inside paid off at Lodge as Byrne hit the front.

Podium finish in race 2 – L-R Josh Brookes second, Shane Byrne first and Ryuichi Kiyonari third.

Lowes and Byrne repeatedly swapped positions before Byrne held the advantage into lap six. Brookes was in the hunt as he moved to third on the twelfth lap at Lodge.

Brookes was in the hunt as he moved to third on the twelfth lap at Lodge. He lined up Ellison for a pass with the leading pack having a matter of inches between them; the Australian made a move at Shell Oils corner to move into second with Byrne now in his sights.

Brookes was then lining up Ellison for a pass as the leading pack had only a matter of inches between them; the Australian made a move at Shell Oils corner to move into second and then had Byrne in his sights.

Ellison was then coming under pressure from Lowes and Ryuichi Kiyonari on the Samsung Hondas, but as Lowes made a move at Island the Milwaukee Yamaha rider then ran wide across the grass and crashed out at high-speed unhurt.

Byrne still had the advantage at the front from a hassling Brookes and the Samsung Honda pairing of Lowes and Kiyonari, with victory going to Byrne on the last lap.

Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) ahead of John Kirkham (Buildbase BMW).

It was last lap drama for Lowes as he lost the front end of his Samsung Honda at Lodge for the final time, crashing out of a podium finish as Brookes and Kiyonari completed the podium.

Results – Race 2
Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +0.173s
Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) +0.932s
Tommy Bridewell (Halsall Racing Kawasaki) +9.532s
Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) +15.772s
PJ Jacobsen (Tyco Suzuki) +18.343s
Dan Linfoot (Lloyds British GBmoto Honda) +26.707s
Keith Farmer (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +26.991s
James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) +27.380s
Howie Mainwaring (Tsingtao WK Bikes) +31.556s

 Race 3
After an epic battle between the leading five riders, Josh Brookes scored his first-ever win at the Cheshire circuit.

Josh Brookes, Shane Byrne and Alex Lowes – Race 3 Oulton Park.

The opening lap saw Byrne hit the front from race one winner James Ellison, with Brookes and Alex Lowes tucked in behind.

Michael Rutter suffered a terchnical problem on lap six forcing a re-start after the track was cleared.

Byrne held the position despite the attack from behind as Ellison was mugged for second place by Lowes at Island Bend and then pushed to fourth when Brookes pushed through at Shell Oils corner. Tommy Bridewell was having an impressive run on the Halsall Racing Kawasaki and was running in the leading pack. He was bidding to make a move on Ellison and with a move at Hizzys chicane pushed the Milwaukee Yamaha rider to fifth.

At the front Brookes moved ahead of Lowes on lap twelve at Hizzys chicane and then was dicing with Byrne for the lead. A lap later and Brookes had edged ahead but Byrne was soon back in front as the pair scrapped for the lead but it wasn’t until lap thirteen when the Tyco Suzuki rider made a move that would stick as he dived down the inside at Shell Oils corner and then defended hard to keep Byrne at bay.

Samsung Honda’s Alex Lowes in action at Oulton Park.

Byrne was trying to make another move on Brookes but Lowes was attacking and the pair made contact on the exit of Shell Oils corner as they fought for second place and the two podium credits. Race two winner Byrne was able to push ahead to leave Lowes third at the chequered flag with Ellison fourth and Bridewell in fifth.

The scrap for sixth was as intense as it was for the lead with James Westmoreland firing the Buildbase BMW ahead of Keith Farmer and Howie Mainwaring who with the Tsingtao WK Bikes team scored his best result with an eighth place finish.  Jon Kirkham claimed ninth to maintain his position inside the top six.

Results – Race 3
Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki)
Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.246s
Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) +0.836s
James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) +1.070s
Tommy Bridewell (Halsall Racing Kawasaki) +1.237s
James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) +18.465s
Keith Farmer (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +18.555s
Howie Mainwaring (Tsingtao WK Bikes) +19.142s
Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) +19.937s
Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) +20.694

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Oulton Park:
Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 297
Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) 268
Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) 243
James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) 158
Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) 142
Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) 126

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