Josh Brookes Unbeatable At Brands Hatch With Double Round Win


Josh Brookes has been desperately hunting his first win of the season for Milwaukee Yamaha and at Brands Hatch the Australian did it in style by claiming the double win, beating a battered Shane 'Shakey' Byrne in the second race to be crowned the Monster Energy King of Brands.

Brookes celebrated his first victory of the season for Milwaukee Yamaha in a dramatic opening MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship race at Brands Hatch as the chasing PBM Kawasakis of Shane 'Shakey' Byrne and Stuart Easton both crashed out at high-speed.

The incident-packed race kicked off with Byrne leading the field into Paddock Hill Bend for the first time from Brookes, Michael Laverty and Richard Cooper, but the Milwaukee Yamaha rider was hunting down his PBM Kawasaki rival and made his move on the fourth lap to take the lead at Druids.

Brookes was holding off the championship leader and the chasing pack as Cooper, James Ellison and Stuart Easton remained in striking distance of them over the opening laps. However Easton's race ended with a huge crash at Hawthorns although the PBM Kawasaki rider was soon sitting up and talking to the medical team.

The crash brought out the Nissan GT-R Safety Car and when the race resumed on the eighth lap Brookes got the jump at the front of the field, maintaining his lead over Byrne, Cooper and Ellison as the leading protagonists resumed their battle for the podium positions. However the Nissan GT-R Safety Car was deployed again just four laps later when Byrne also crashed out at Hawthorns, he was able to walk away from the high-speed accident.

The race resumed for the second time and Brookes was gunning to maintain his advantage; the Australian setting a consistently fast pace to try and make a break from the pack over the final five laps. The Milwaukee Yamaha had the edge and he edged a slight advantage over Cooper as Ellison sealed the final podium position.

Tommy Bridewell was the leading Tyco BMW in fourth place as he bid to overcome Ellison during the closing laps ahead of his team-mate Michael Laverty. John Hopkins scored sixth place on his return to MCE BSB on the Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati, the team's best result of the season so far.

Luke Mossey claimed his best finish of his rookie season in seventh ahead of an impressive Dan Linfoot in eighth who carved his was through from 22nd on the grid for Honda Racing. James Westmoreland and Billy McConnell completed the top ten.

In Race Two, Byrne led off the pole position after the PBM Kawasaki team got him back on track after his huge 150mph crash in the opening race; he led the pack from Brookes, James Ellison and Richard Cooper. On the opening lap Cooper made his move on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki ahead of him and the pair then continued to dice for the position.

Brookes was hunting his rival though and was shadowing him over the opening laps and then when it came to the eighth lap the Milwaukee Yamaha contender pulled a move at Druids to hit the front of the pack.

Brookes was holding off Byrne, but behind the chasing pack were also ready to make their move with Cooper, Ellison and the Tyco BMWs of Tommy Bridewell and Michael Laverty. However for Bridewell his efforts were in vain and he crashed out unhurt at Surtees.

Byrne was trying to regain the lead but Brookes had the edge to claim his second win of the day from his fierce title rival, but Cooper again showed impressive form to score his best result of his career on the Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki ahead of Ellison.

"We've gone this far into the season and haven't been able to win and then we get two in the one day, it's pretty awesome feeling." Brookes said. "It's a team environment, the guys have worked so hard to make the bike better for me each round and at the start of the season I said - and I was briefed by Yamaha to be patient - the bike will get better.

"When you wait for something you really appreciate it and the bike worked really well by race day. To come from a double-win and go to a track I like, it's given us confidence for Thruxton too, so hopefully things work well for us there again."

Laverty held on to fifth ahead of Smiths BMW's Billy McConnell who rewarded the team with their best MCE BSB result in sixth. Luke Mossey had his strongest weekend of his campaign with a seventh place after holding off the charging Christian Iddon on the Bennetts Suzuki. Jason O'Halloran for Honda Racing and Broc Parkes completed the top ten.

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, race one result:
Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha)
Richard Cooper (Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki) +0.507s
James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.693s
Tommy Bridewell (Tyco BMW) +0.758s
Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) +4.542s
John Hopkins (Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati) +4.626s
Luke Mossey (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +5.758s
Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +6.401s
James Westmoreland (JG Speedfit Kawasaki)
Billy McConnell (Smiths BMW)

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, race two result:
Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha)
Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki) +3.434s
Richard Cooper (Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki) +4.616s
James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +6.887s
Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) +8.284s
Billy McConnell (Smiths BMW) +14.930s
Luke Mossey (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +15.296s
Christian Iddon (Bennetts Suzuki) +16.647s
Jason O'Halloran (Honda Racing) +18.077s
Broc Parkes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +18.077s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Brands Hatch:
Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki) 221
Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) 216
James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 147
Stuart Easton (PBM Kawasaki) 139
Jason O'Halloran (Honda Racing) 103
Tommy Bridewell (Tyco BMW) 99

The 2015 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship returns to Thruxton for the fastest round of the year, the JG Speedfit round on 31 July, 1/2 August.

Top Image: Josh Brookes on his way to his first win of 2015


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