BSB

Aussie Josh Brookes Claims BSB Points Lead With Double At Thruxton

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Josh Brookes continued his race-winning streak in the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship to head off his rivals in a dramatic opening race at Thruxton to move seven points ahead of his nemesis Shane 'Shakey' Byrne in the standings.

The race got underway with an incident-packed start as Brookes lead the field from John Hopkins and Luke Mossey as the pack streamed through Allard for the first time. Dan Linfoot was on the move though and the Honda Racing rider carved his was up to second by the fourth lap and was trying to push Brookes for the lead.

However the red flag was shown when Richard Cooper's Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki suffered a blow up and right behind both James Ellison and Christian Iddon crashed out of contention. Bennetts Suzuki's Iddon was able to be back on the grid for the restart; however the JG Speedfit Kawasaki title contender was sidelined after breaking his wrist.

When the action restarted Hopkins hit the front of the pack from Brookes and Linfoot, but the Milwaukee Yamaha rider was soon up to second, passing Linfoot and closing down the American contender. The leading trio had broken away from the scrapping pack and Brookes made his move to hit the front at Club on the third lap and wasn't going to let anyone take away his lead.

Hopkins and Linfoot both pushed hard to defeat the Australian, however it was a disappointing end to the race for the Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati team as 'Hopper' was forced to retire with a technical problem.

Linfoot was then holding second behind Brookes but behind there was a seven-way scrap for the final podium position as Shane 'Shakey' Byrne carved his way through the pack to join the action for the PBM Kawasaki team.

James Westmoreland had been leading the freight train from Byrne, Danny Buchan, Howie Mainwaring, Tommy Bridewell, Luke Mossey and Jack Kennedy as they continued to swap positions throughout the laps and trying to gain the advantage.

Westmoreland had the edge on the final lap and the lone JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider pushed ahead of Byrne as Buchan and Bridewell battled on. As the pack headed down to Club chicane for the final time Buchan crashed out, collecting Bridewell in the process as the pair ended their race on the ground.

Westmoreland had held on to claim his first podium finish from Byrne, Quattro Plant Kawasaki team-mates Mainwaring and Mossey with Jack Kennedy scoring seventh for Team WD-40 Kawasaki. Billy McConnell, Michael Laverty and Martin Jessopp completed the top ten.

"Having these two guys [Linfoot, Westmoreland] on the podium pushes Shakey just off it - and gives me the championship lead. It's of course a good feeling to have that, but it comes with pressure too; it's a double-edged sword." Brookes said.

"I need to thank the team for putting together a great bike for me - you'd have seen from the TV coverage that I didn't have any problems out there, the tyre was in good shape at the end, and I had the speed I needed, too; it was good enough to pass. No complaints, just smiles today!"

Brookes continued his winning run in race two to leaveThruxton as the man to beat in the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship as the Milwaukee Yamaha contender continued his winning momentum by claiming a double victory in Hampshire. The Australian now leads Shane 'Shakey' Byrne in the standings by 12 points ahead of Cadwell Park.

Brookes again hit the front of the pack on the opening lap in his bid to continue his winning run ahead of John Hopkins and Byrne with Dan Linfoot, Danny Buchan and Howie Mainwaring in close contention.

Hopkins was hunting Brookes for the lead but the Australian was desperately trying to make the break from the pack. Linfoot was pushing forward though and the Honda Racing rider moved ahead of Byrne on the third lap to displace the defending champion to fourth.

Byrne then came under attack from Mainwaring and the Quattro Plant Kawasaki rider made a move to claim the advantage, but as the pair approached the Club Chicane, the defending champion made a lunge to reclaim the position. The pair continued to dice for fourth until the Nissan GT-R Safety Car was deployed when Jack Kennedy crashed out at Campbell.

The race resumed on the 15 lap and with five laps remaining and the pack bunched up the battle intensified. Mossey had a flying start at the restart and he moved second ahead of Linfoot. Hopkins crashed out a lap later at the Chicane unhurt, ending his chances of a podium finish. Byrne was not prepared to give up on the podium without a fight and he also made a pass on Linfoot to move third behind Mossey as the pair then scrapped it out for the podium finishes.

On the 18th of 20 laps Byrne had moved second, but MCE BSB rookie Mossey retaliated instantly - pulling an impressive move on the PBM Kawasaki rider by taking the outside line into the Club Chicane. The defending champion repaid the move a lap later by drafting down the inside into the final chicane as they fought for the positions to the bitter end.

Mossey moved back ahead of Byrne at Brooklands only for the four-time champion to take it back on the run out of Church. The Quattro Plant Kawasaki rider was looking for a final chance at the Club Chicane but Byrne defended hard to hold second as Brookes secured the victory.

Tommy Bridewell bounced back from his huge race one crash to claim fourth place and move back inside the top six in the standings for Tyco BMW, holding off Linfoot and his team-mate Michael Laverty.

Mainwaring continued his best event of the season in seventh place ahead of Martin Jessopp who claimed his strongest finish whilst Lee Jackson and Josh Waters completed the top ten.

The 2015 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship returns to Cadwell Park for the 'Party in the Park' on 21/22/23 August.

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Thruxton, race one result:
Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha)
Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +4.479s
James Westmoreland (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +9.802s
Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki) +14.134s
Howie Mainwaring (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +14.347s
Luke Mossey (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +14.778s
Jack Kennedy (Team WD-40 Kawasaki) +14.936s
Billy McConnell (Smiths Racing BMW) +15.223s
Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) +16.146s
Martin Jessopp (RidersMotorcycles BMW) +16.356s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Thruxton, race two result:
Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha)
Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki) +5.580s
Luke Mossey (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +5.766s
Tommy Bridewell (Tyco BMW) +7.821s
Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +8.558s
Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) +9.020s
Howie Mainwaring (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +9.323s
Martin Jessopp (RidersMotorcycles BMW) +9.405s
Lee Jackson (Buildbase BMW) +9.621s
Josh Waters (Bennetts Suzuki) +9.699s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Thruxton race two:
Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) 266
Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki) 254
James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 147
Stuart Easton (PBM Kawasaki) 139
Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) 115
Tommy Bridewell (Tyco BMW) 112

Top Image: Josh Brookes celebrates his double win at Thruxton

Credit: britishsuperbike.com

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