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AuAussie Josh Brookes Breaks Through To Win 2015 British Superbike Championship

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Josh Brookes has secured his first MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch as the Australian won the opening race of the triple-header weekend from Shane 'Shakey' Byrne in an epic dogfight between the pair on the Grand Prix circuit.

At the start of the race Brookes fired off the pole position into the lead from Danny Buchan and Byrne, but the defending champion had moved up to second at Druids and then had his arch rival in his sights.

The pair were inseparable and Byrne was instantly trying to attack, however he had to wait until the third lap to make a move down the inside at Surtees with just 0.2s covering the pair as they crossed the line.

The tension continued for the next laps then on lap five Brookes made his move to regain the lead, but two corners later Byrne bit back to reclaim the position. As they crossed the line Byrne held the advantage but Brookes was planning his next move and after several attempts on the eighth lap he pulled a pass at Stirlings but Byrne instantly responded with a move around the outside at Clearways.

Byrne was defending hard from but on the twelfth lap Brookes moved ahead at Stirlings and then he set about extending an advantage. The Milwaukee Yamaha rider crossed the line first to claim his first title with Byrne second but behind the pair it was an incredible result for the Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati team as John Hopkins claimed them their first podium finish after running with the leading pair in the first half of the race.

Christian Iddon was to repeat his best result of the season in fourth place after a dynamic race saw him move up the order for Bennetts Suzuki after big battles with James Ellison, Luke Mossey and Buchan, whilst Lee Jackson surged through to fifth over the final stages of the race.

Ellison held sixth from Mossey as Buchan dropped back to eighth place, holding off Michael Laverty and Jakub Smrz ahead of tomorrow's two races.
Josh Brookes became the first Australian rider since Troy Bayliss in 1999 to win the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship - Credit: Britishsuperbikes.com
Josh Brookes became the first Australian rider since Troy Bayliss in 1999 to win the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, by claiming the opening race victory at the final round of the season at Brands Hatch.

Brookes had been embroiled in a race-long battle with Shane 'Shakey' Byrne for the first victory and the pair fought hammer and tong for the advantage but in the end it was the Australian who emerged victorious to lift his first title.

"It's amazing. For me I feel like that kid that grew up in Bringelly, a country town west of Sydney, and went to Bringelly Public School, and rode a dirt bike around in a field, and did it for fun, and then one day it was a race, and another race, and then it turned into a career." Brookes said.

"To be sat here next to Shakey and John Hopkins and be taking the British Championship is something that people have said over the years you'd never do and never get close to. I've always had some unknown desire since young age to pursue motorbikes as a career, so it's not something I can put in words, but it's something I feel and it feels great.

"Early this year I went to the German Championship, rode the IDM and during the race, I ended up third, I was in a battle with some other guys and I just thought, this is easy compared to racing against Shakey Byrne. When you race against a guy like this week in week out, it just toughens you up and it really is a challenge and every time you think that you've got an advantage, he puts something into the mix that makes you eat your words.

"I wasn't at all surprised to see him come past. At the start of the race I did some good laps which on the dash looked like pretty good lap times and I could still hear this bike signing in my ears - it was Shakey right behind - and one lap he just sprung out from what seemed like nowhere and got past me. I tried a bunch of times to get back by, but I just didn't seem to have the speed or the form in the early part of the race to keep that position and he kept fighting back, which again is what you would completely expect from Shakey.

"By the mid part of the race, I felt like I could maintain the speed and get into a rhythm where I felt like I had an advantage, and I thought, I've got to pass, put a hard lap in, and try and make a gap and then keep doing strong laps - that's the only way to fight him off. It sounds like he's a dragon or something! Once I got in front I really tried hard, I risked a lot, but I gained a lot, so I'm really pleased." Brookes concluded.
Newly crowned champion Josh Brookes was pushing hard to seal a clean sweep of Showdown wins but crashed out on the eighth lap. - Credit: Britishsuperbikes.com
In the final race of the year it was Michael Laverty claimed his first win of the season in the final race of the 2015 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship season for Tyco BMW, fighting off the challenges from James Ellison and Shane 'Shakey' Byrne.

Newly crowned champion Josh Brookes was pushing hard to seal a clean sweep of Showdown wins but crashed out on the eighth lap.

John Hopkins had hit the lead on the opening lap from Byrne and Laverty with Brookes back in seventh, but fighting through the pack over the opening laps. On the second lap Byrne had hit the front of the field but Laverty was pushing for a move and the Tyco BMW rider made a lunge at Druids only to run slightly wide giving Byrne the chance he needed to cut back ahead.

Ellison was determined to return to the podium in the final race of the season and he moved up to second on lap three and then went for a move on Byrne at Graham Hill Bend, but he responded instantly and moved back ahead before Surtees.

Byrne was holding the lead but Ellison was pushing for the lead, making a move down the inside at Paddock Hill Bend, but again the PBM Kawasaki rider was attacking with a move at Druids. As Byrne moved ahead Ellison was sat up which dropped the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider to third as Laverty took advantage of the gap.

Brookes had moved up to second but there was drama for the Milwaukee Yamaha rider when he caught the curb at Graham Hill Bend which saw him crash out unhurt - his first non-finish of an incredible campaign.

Laverty held the lead from Byrne and Ellison with the trio trading blows for the podium positions; Byrne had moved to the front of the trio Clearways, but Laverty had reclaimed the advantage by Paddock Hill Bend.

Laverty was able to fend the pair off to the finish to claim his first win of the season for Tyco BMW whilst Ellison and Byrne battling for second right to the line. Dan Linfoot claimed fourth place from Christian Iddon and Luke Mossey, who sealed the Riders Cup title.

Danny Buchan held off Hopkins for seventh place on the second PBM Kawasaki whilst Jakub Smrz and Howie Mainwaring completed the top ten.

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship Final standings:
1: Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) 703
2: Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki) 662
3: James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 614
4: Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) 601
5: Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) 556
6: Tommy Bridewell (Tyco BMW) 545

Top Image: Aussie Josh Brookes is the 2015 British Superbike Champion

Credit: Britishsuperbikes.com

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