Josh Brookes proved he won’t buckle under the pressure of the Showdown in the opening round at Assen, claiming a double win for the Milwaukee Yamaha team in two intense races, as defending MCE British Superbike Champion Shane Byrne could only claim fourth and fifth place finishes.
In the opening race Brookes continued his impressive run of form onboard the Milwaukee Yamaha, hitting the front of the pack in the opening race to edge out James Ellison on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki to take the victory.
Michael Laverty scored his first podium finish of the season for Tyco BMW as Byrne on the PBM Kawasaki could only cross the line in fourth place as he held off the attack from American John Hopkins.
The second race took a dramatic turn with the conditions changing constantly before the start and as the track began to dry the majority of the grid had opted for the slick tyre choice, whilst Dan Linfoot gambled on the wet option.
Linfoot led the opening four laps before dropping back down the pack as an incredible scrap broke out for the victory. Brookes took the lead briefly, but then had a huge moment and dropped down the order. That handed the advantage to rookie Luke Mossey on the Quattro Plant Kawasaki, but then Ellison pushed ahead.
Ellison was then under pressure as Brookes closed in, taking the lead with three laps to go and then holding off the late challenges of his fellow Title Fighter. Mossey matched his best result of the season in third place ahead of Richard Cooper on the Buildbase BMW.
Title Fighter Linfoot finished 22nd whilst Tyco BMW’s Tommy Bridewell, who had been running eighth, crashed out of contention.
Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) – Championship leader:603 points – Race one: 1st, Race two: 1st – “It is certainly pleasing to be in this position as if you turn back to the last race at Oulton Park, to watch Shakey overtake me and make a gap to finish the race ahead was a bitter pill to swallow. I have had two weeks to stew on that and to come back with maybe more aggression. It’s not just the double that’s good, I’ve done that a few times now, but to do it now at the most crucial point and with all the crazy things that have happened, especially last year there was a lot chaos for me that didn’t go my way. It’s really pleasing to have this lead over Shakey now; a lot of the racing I have done in the middle of the season had very little effect on the championship standings so for the points to matter this weekend makes a real difference. I took the holeshot in race two and immediately felt like I was going too slow, everything felt slow motion and I was waiting for people to come past. As Dan came past, I saw he was on wet weather tyres and he got away quite quickly as would be expected. We’ve seen it many times this year that the depth of field is strong in BSB, any rider that comes past you, you can’t just immediately get them back you have to work hard to do it.I didn’t mean for the pass [on Ellison] to be that aggressive but I’m glad he’s taken it in good light. I thought I would be able to make a cleaner move than that but his entry speed was much faster than I anticipated! I’m really happy to bring it home with all these different events going on! I enjoyed the race quite a bit and I hope it was enjoyable to watch!”
Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki) – Second in the standings: 575 – Race one: 4th, Race two: 5th – “I guess you could say that the weekend hasn’t been a disaster but it is a long way from ideal. We came to Assen in a good frame of mind because of the setting we found at Oulton Park and we tried to persevere with it but the changing conditions during the weekend made it difficult. I don’t want to make excuses, but it isn’t ideal and just highlights how difficult the Showdown can be. The iffy conditions meant that a bunch of other riders came out, before that I had been more than comfortable behind Josh, but the guys with nothing to lose got involved. We need to have a sit down and regroup now so we are ready for Silverstone.”
James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) – Third in the standings: 562 – Race one: 2nd, Race two: 2nd – “The plan was to come here and do the best we could. We needed to start winning as we’ve lost a lot of the season through injury so we needed to be winning to be in with a shot of the title– we certainly won’t be giving up until the final lap of the last race at Brands Hatch. We had really strong pace at the start of race one; I was able to run with Josh. The bike felt really good but about five laps in we got some vibration and it got worse and worse and then I made some mistakes and in the end you start thinking about it too much. I felt like I had a little bit of extra help this weekend with my Dad watching over me, and I had a couple of moments where I thought the race over especially in race two. I kept thinking about the effort he put in to me and my brother over the years, and I just kept digging in deep because when I saw I had big gap I thought Josh was in a little bit of trouble with other riders, so when he gets through he’ll have a chance of catching me. I got the gap to two and half seconds, but then he just kept coming back at me. We still hung with him, and we crossed the line not far behind so I’m really pleased with that. We clawed some more points back on Shakey as well, which is good, there are three of us in the championship, not just Josh. So it feels like job done.”
Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) – Fourth in the standings: 523 – Race one: 3rd, Race two: 9th – “It was a good first race for me; we made a bit of a gamble and went for the harder rear tyre while everyone else seemed to be on the soft. We knew we would struggle to hang on in the early laps but towards the end of the race it started to come back. It was a bit of a battle, especially on the last lap with Shakey making the move on the last corner, but he went a bit wide and I took it back. It’s nice to get my first podium of the season just as the Showdown starts and it’s all down to the Tyco BMW team. I was too careful in the first few laps fo race two and I lost a lot of ground, I started to make a move through and I got a false neutral, went in to the gravel and lost about 10 places so I had to start all over again. In these circumstances where Brookes is still pulling out we are a bit unfortunate but we will come back at Silverstone strong. Third place in the championship is my target, we have still got five races to try to pull back some points, I think we can come back even stronger from here.”
Tommy Bridewell (Tyco BMW) – Fifth in the standings: 515 – Race one: 8th, Race two: Crash – “I’ve got a sore knee and it has been difficult for sure. It is almost the worst start to a Showdown you could hope for.The team is doing everything that they can and we just are not as strong as we need to be. I am pushing beyond the limit that I should be and I should back it offbut as soon as we race I just can’t give less than 110%.
“On the bright we scored points and Michael Laverty has an eight points gap on me which is nothing, but, we all want to win. We just have to keep working to be more consistent.”
Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) – Sixth in the standings: 509 – Race one: 14th, Race two: 22nd – “I could have a been a hero! Everyone will say what were you doing? It rained, it stopped, it rained, it stopped, it was quite wet to begin with and I thought I will go with it, we are in Showdown. I lost some points this morning, I thought I will gain them all back if this pays off – it could have been a much different story! Obviously I am disappointed as two points from the round is not good.”
While Josh Brookes was flying high at Assen the Dutch round was not quite as positive for his countrymen racing in the BSB Series.
Josh Waters scored 15th and 14th place finishes. Billy McConnell an 11th and a DNF. Jed Metcher a DNF and 18th.
Billy McConnell – “Despite being further back on the grid than I would have liked, I had a good first race and really enjoyed the battle I was having out there so I was happy enough with the outcome. I was obviously looking for more in the second, but Danny Buchan came up the inside of me and my handlebar caught the rear of his back and my front wheel got taken away. My leg then went under my rear wheel and the foot peg into my knee so I’m a bit tender but I’ll be fine. It’s a shame as we had some good pace and could have had a good result so I’m just hoping we can get some decent results at the last two rounds.”
Josh Waters – “Our pace was a lot better this weekend and better than the results showed. We just got caught-up at the wrong times in the wrong places, but that’s the nature of BSB and why it’s such a good championship. The lap-times we could run were a lot better and the feeling from my GSX-R1000 was improved this weekend. Everyone in the team has worked hard so hopefully we can take the things we’ve tried here at Assen and build on them further at Silverstone.”
Jed Metcher – “Heading into my home away from home at Assen I expected to be able to move forward with the development of the Gearlink Kawasaki by using my experience at the Dutch circuit. Unfortunately the weather had other plans reducing our track time, which in turn left us with minimal data to move forward with. However, the team did an amazing job to improve the bike with little information. It would have been amazing to get a top ten in race two but again we needed a little luck from Mother Nature that didn’t arrive! All-in-all I’m looking forward to Silverstone as I’ve had world championship experience there and I believe we are close to suiting the Gearlink Kawasaki to my riding style.”
Race one Assen BSB
Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha)
James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +6.757s
Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) +8.425s
Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki) +8.811s
John Hopkins (Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati) +10.071s
Richard Copper (Buildbase BMW) +13.145s
Race two Assen BSB
Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha)
James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.615s
Luke Mossey (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +3.636s
Richard Cooper (Buildbase BMW) +4.365s
Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki) +4.548s
Christian Iddon (Bennetts Suzuki) +6.052s
Standings after Assen BSB
Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) 603
Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki) 575
James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 562
Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) 523
Tommy Bridewell (Tyco BMW) 515
Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) 509
Luke Stapleford completed a Motopoint British Supersport Championship winning double to edge ever closer to taking the crown for the first time as he powered to his eleventh victory ahead of a determined Jake Dixon.
Dixon made the early running on the Smiths Triumph ahead of Irwin with James Rispoli running third on the Team Traction Control Yamaha but the American was down and out on the second lap.And with Phil Wakefield and Ben Stafford also crashing, the Nissan Safety Car was deployed for three laps as the incidents were dealt with.
Irwin closed in on Dixon but behind them Stapleford was on the move, picking up two places to go third, and the on the seventh lap, with a neat move on Irwin he was running second to Dixon whose lead was slashed to 0.010s.
Stapleford had the drive and was leading the pack on the eighth lap though Dixon was full of fight running within two tenths of a second while Sam Hornsey had found a way past Ben Wilson to be challenging Irwin for third.Kyle Ryde moved his PacedayZ Trackdays Yamaha moved fifth at the expense of Gearlink Kawsakis Wilson.
Setting the fastest lap of the race, Stapleford began to gap Dixon, pulling half a second on him with a couple of laps remaining and then doubling that going into the final lap as he took another comfortable victory.
Irwin on the Gearlink Kawasaki completed the podium finishes ahead of Hornsey with Kyle Ryde maintaining his outside hopes of taking the crown as he took fifth place from Wilson, Danny Webb and Joe Francis on the second Team Traction Control Yamaha.
Joe Collier finished third in the Supersport EVO class, adrift of Marshall Neill and Matt Paulo, and that was sufficient to clinch the title for him.
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship, Assen, feature race result
1: Luke Stapleford (Profile Triumph)
2: Jake Dixon (Smiths Triumph) +0.756s
3: Glenn Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) +2.021s
4: Sam Hornsey (Profile Triumph) +2.414s
5: Kyle Ryde (PacedayZ Trackdays Yamaha) +10.486s
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship standings
1: Luke Stapleford (Profile Triumph) 396
2: Kyle Ryde (PacedayZ Trackdays Yamaha) 298
3: Jake Dixon (Smiths Triumph) 284
4: Glenn Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) 263
5: James Rispoli (Team Traction Control Yamaha) 193
HEL Performance British Motostar Championship
Scott Deroue took the victory in the race that was decided over six laps after a rain shower had halted it.Deroue was leading from Taylor and the young Brit took full advantage of the re-start, charging into the lead but the local favourite reeled him back, going ahead at half distance. Taylor tried to close back in only to crash out on the final lap with Ed Rendell taking second. In the 125GP category Josh Owens, second to Cameron Horsman, was crowned champion.
Ducati TriOptions Cup
Robbie Brown completed the Assen double with Leon Morris crossing the line in second place after a dramatic last lap incident as Rob Guiver, having bettered the lap record, closed down on Brown.But at the crucial moment as they charged past a back-marker he and Guiver touched. Guiver’s handlebar was broken and he went grass-tracking, but held on to finish sixth.Morris inherited second place, just enough to keep his series lead, though now by only one point from Brown.
Moriwaki 250 Junior Cup Sunday
Sander Kroeze completed a winning double but the scrap for positions adrift of him was intense with less than a second separating a pack of eight riders on the final lap. Brandon Passch snatched second place ahead of the Orgis brothers Kevin and Leon.
Hyundai Heavy Industries British Sidecar Championship
Dutch championship runners Bennie Streur/Geert Koers took the victory by 2.537sec ahead of Andy Peach/Charlie Richardson with the series leaders Rick Stevens/Ryan Charlwood who had led the opening lap taking third.
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