Simon Phillips has joined RacerViews and the talented photographer took to the BSB and Brands Hatch, joining 55000 spectators to catch Josh Brookes return to form…
Josh 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
“I’m really pleased that I have managed to take another two race wins this weekend and remains consistent within the main Championship. The team once again provided me with a great bike this weekend and we made several changes on Friday but come the races everything felt great.
I’m an Evo rider but I am also managing to sit in seventh place in the main Championship standings and just hope I can continue with my results for the rest of the season and keep aiming for higher results in the overall Championship race. I’d like to thank my team and all my sponsors for their help and support this year and roll on Thruxton.”
The MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship received a rapturous reception at the ‘Big Brands Bash’ last weekend (17/18/19 July) as 55,000 fans descended on Brands Hatch for the annual summer event with the biggest crowd in several seasons lining the circuit.
The Brands Hatch event now sets the stage for the fastest round of the season coming up in less than two weeks’ time (31 July – 1/2 August) at Thruxton for the JG Speedfit round, followed by the ‘Party in the Park’ as the contenders battle it out to become the Monster Energy King of the Mountain.
Photos by Simon Phillips, July 2015
Words by BSB PR
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