Josh Brookes takes Brands Hatch BSB Pole

Josh Brookes scored his first pole position of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship season at Brands Hatch this afternoon, mastering the changing conditions to claim the top spot for the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha team.

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A heavy shower before the session left the riders dealing with improving conditions throughout the three-stage Datatag qualifying. Brookes topped the opening session but it was defending champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne who topped Q2.

In Q3, a hectic final battle for pole position between the top nine erupted and Peter Hickman was instantly on the attack; pushing hard from the start of the session to put the Smiths Racing BMW at the top ahead of Byrne, John Hopkins and championship leader Luke Mossey.

However Brookes was not giving up without a fight and the bullish Australian completed a run to first take the top spot, and then edge further ahead as Mossey moved into second with Linfoot in close contention, which he held to claim his first front row start of the season for Honda Racing.

Josh Brookes – Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha

“Everyone involved has put in a lot of work and everyone wants to be where we are at the moment, but it’s a hard road to get here and I’m very pleased for everybody involved.  The wet conditions are something I don’t normally struggle with so I was interested to see how I’d go in them. Each session the track was changing a lot, when I first went out in Q1 it was really wet and each lap it changed right through to my last lap in Q3.  I’m actually hoping for a dry race tomorrow, we’ve got strong pace in dry conditions, even though I’m on pole in the damp I’d rather we had two dry races tomorrow. Maybe I took more risk than the others but it was nice to have that confidence with the bike and the track in what were tricky conditions.”

Josh Brookes
Josh Brookes

Dan Linfoot

“Well today has been pretty positive! I finished Q3 in third place, which is my best result so far this year, so I have got a smile on my face. I have a good feeling with the Fireblade and I am starting to feel it’s all coming together now. The start of the season was a bit tough, but everything is improving, I am learning and developing at each race. I am looking forward to tomorrow, I hope we have two dry races – I had a good finish in practice this morning in the dry where I was second fastest, so it’s looking positive and I am looking forward to starting from the front row tomorrow.”

Hickman will start the opening race tomorrow from the second row, ahead of the two Ducatis with Hopkins holding off defending champion Byrne for sixth place, after the Be Wiser Ducati rider set the fastest ever lap of the circuit this morning in dry conditions.

Shane Byrne

“The bike’s working amazingly well in the dry and everything had gone perfectly up until Q3 when we struggled to find the right setting. I think we went too hard when it was really wet and too soft when it started to dry up but there’s no stress and the second row isn’t a bad place to be. We know what our pace is in the dry so we’ll be hoping for two dry races tomorrow so we can show what we can do.”

Shane Byrne
Shane Byrne

James Ellison heads the third row for McAMS Yamaha ahead of Leon Haslam who suffered a technical problem at the end of the second session, but was able to head back out in the final stage to claim eighth place on the grid.

Gearlink Kawasaki had their best performance of the season with James Westmoreland in Q3 for the first time this year; he completes the third row of the grid.

South Australian Billy McConnell rounded out the qualifying top ten ahead of Christian Iddon.

Billy McConnell - Image by Jon Jessop
Billy McConnell – Image by Jon Jessop

Jason O’Halloran’s qualifying came to an early end after finishing 12th in the second session, where he lines up for tomorrow’s first race. It’s been a mixed weekend so far for The O’Show after a crash in yesterday’s FP2 lost the Aussie valuable track time, O’Halloran was unhurt after the fall.

Jason O’Halloran

“It’s been a hard weekend really, FP1 started good and I finished in fifth place. I then missed a lot of FP2 after an early crash and then in FP3 we tried to make up the time we lost in the second session, we also tried a lot of things, which didn’t work in our favour. Qualifying was wet and I did feel OK, but I just struggled with grip, which I have been all weekend to be honest. So tomorrow the aim is to try and find some grip and improve our pace to come through from the fourth row.

Jason O'Halloran - Image by Jon Jessop
Jason O’Halloran – Image by Jon Jessop
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Datatag Qualifying
  1. Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) 1m:35.198s
  2. Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.658s
  3. Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +0.667s
  4. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +0.702s
  5. John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +0.822s
  6. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +0.971s
  7. James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +1.180s
  8. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +1.633s
  9. James Westmoreland (Gearlink Kawasaki) +1.962s
  10. Billy McConnell AUS Kawasaki – Quattro Plant FS-3 Racing Kawasaki
  11. Christian Iddon GBR BMW – Tyco BMW Motorrad 
  12. Jason O’Halloran GBR Honda – Honda Racing
  13. Jake Dixon GBR Kawasaki – RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki 
  14. Glenn Irwin GBR Ducati – Be Wiser Ducati Racing Team 
  15. Lee Jackson GBR BMW – Smiths Racing

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British Superstock 1000 Race Report

Bennetts Suzuki rider Richard Cooper enjoyed victory in both parts of the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Brands Hatch 100 race to secure maximum points and close in on title rival Danny Buchan.

Starting from pole position, Cooper launched into the lead in the first part of the race, steadily pulling away from Adam Jenkinson in second whilst Championship leader, and new dad, Danny Buchan moved into third place on lap three.

Maintaining positions, a red flag on lap ten saw the race restarted over eight laps but just as he did previously, it was Cooper who grabbed the holeshot to cruise away to claim his third win of the season.

After a fantastic start, Michael Rutter was able to hold on to secure second place, whilst Buchan rounded out the podium.

Following the pit stops, where the riders refuelled and changed tyres, the second part of the race again saw Cooper grab the holeshot however this time Buchan was in close contention.

Separated by just a tenth of a second for much of the race, it looked set to be an enthralling showdown however a red flag at the start of lap twelve saw the result declared with Cooper doubling up on wins to close in on Buchan in the overall standings.

Young Western Australian Sam Clarke made his Superstock 1000 debut and brought the PaceDayz Yamaha YZF-R1 home in 22nd position. 

Sam Clarke - Image by Jon Jessop
Sam Clarke – Image by Jon Jessop

Richard Cooper

“I’m a little bit disappointed to be honest because I wanted to win by more. I was feeling good and had a comfortable lead, so I was actually a bit disappointed when the red flags came out in the first part. They were a bit closer after the stoppage but I could keep them behind me. After the pitstop we had a bit of an issue with the rear brake setup, which made it a bit more difficult at the front, but I think we could have gone the distance even though the flags came out again. But it’s good, I’m feeling good and the bike’s working well, and we were running at lap record pace. Tomorrow’s a sprint race and I’m feeling confident, so fingers crossed the weather’s kind. The plan’s to get away and hopefully lead from the front, and have another good race.”

Richard Cooper
Richard Cooper
British Superstock 1000 Race Results – Brands Hatch GP 2017
  1. Richard COOPER Suzuki – Bennetts Suzuki 1
  2. Danny BUCHAN Kawasaki – Morello Racing Kawasaki
  3. Chrissy ROUSE BMW – Mission Racing 
  4. Michael RUTTER BMW – Bathams SMT 
  5. Luke HEDGER Aprilia – EHA Racing Aprilia UK
  6. Josh ELLIOTT BMW – Tyco BMW Motorrad 
  7. Fraser ROGERS Kawasaki – Morello Racing Kawasaki 
  8. James RISPOLI Kawasaki – Quattro Plant FS-3 Racing Kawasaki 
  9. Carl PHILLIPS Suzuki – MD Racing
  10. Barry TEASDALE BMW – Bob Henderson Racing 
Richard Cooper
Richard Cooper

British Supersport Sprint Race Report

The Team Quattro Spirit bike of Alastair Seeley finished first on track ahead of former Champion Luke Stapleford, but with the Moto2 machine of Seeley and the Triumph of Stapleford not eligible for points it was Keith Farmer on the Team Appleyard Macadam with Integro Yamaha who picked up maximum points. Launching off from pole, Seeley set fastest lap after fastest lap to cruise to victory by 7.094s. Unable to match the pace of Seeley, Stapleford had a lonely ride in second place but it was intense action behind as Keith Farmer, Joe Francis and Matt Truelove fought for the podium throughout the ten lap race.

Moving into the front on lap four after a great move around the outside at Clearways, Astro-TT Racing’s Truelove was initially able to edge away from the pursuers but a string of fast laps towards the end saw Farmer slip past on the penultimate lap and go on to claim the win.

Joe Collier on the FAB Racing Speed Up Moto2 bike was fourth on track, but it was Truelove who claimed second on the Supersport podium with Francis third.

Despite recording the fastest Supersport lap of the race on the tenth and final lap Ben Currie only carded a ninth place finish outright, placing him sixth in the Supersport class. 

Ben Currie - Image by Jon Jessop
Ben Currie – Image by Jon Jessop

Farmer’s win has seen him take the Championship lead by 22 points ahead of Andrew Irwin.

Dickies British Supersport Championship, Brands Hatch, Sprint Race
  1. Alastair Seeley (Team Quattro Spirit)
  2. Luke Stapleford (Profile Racing Triumph) +7.094s
  3. Keith Farmer (Team Appleyard Macadam Yamaha) +29.993s
  4. Joe Collier (FAB Racing Speed Up) +30.046s
  5. Matt Truelove (Astro-TT Racing Yamaha) +30.267s
  6. Joe Francis ( Halsall Racing Yamaha) +31.639s
Dickies British Supersport Championship Standings, Brands Hatch
  1. Keith Farmer (Team Appleyard Macadam Yamaha) 170
  2. Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) 150
  3. Andrew Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) 148
  4. David Allingham (EHA Racing Yamaha) 145
  5. Jack Kennedy (GAC Logistics MV Agusta) 132
  6. Ben Currie (Gearlink Kawasaki) 126

British Superstock 600

Brad Jones has taken his second Pirelli National Superstock 600 pole position in a row, taking top spot in qualifying by 0.656s. Leading for the majority of the session, Jones was able to steadily increase his lead over the 25 minute qualifying, setting his pole lap of 1:30.084s on his final circulation. Tom Neave finished in second place whilst Ryan Vickers completed the front row in third. Championship leader Dan Stamper will start from seventh.