Josh Brookes seals second place in 2017 MCE British Superbike Championship in style
Josh Brookes and the Anvil Hire Yamaha team signed of 2017 in style, picking up a victory and a third place in the triple header at Brands Hatch last weekend, securing second place in the MCE British Superbike Championship, missing out on the title by just three points.
Josh qualified well on Saturday morning, with the Bringelly man posting his fastest lap of the weekend on his final flying lap of Q3, which lined him up in second place for the opening outing on Saturday afternoon.
After the quick turnaround, race one got underway with Josh making a great start off the line, grabbing the holeshot. Brookes held second place after the second lap battling with Christian Iddon, then the race was halted, and was forced to restart for a 16-lap dash.
Starting again from second on the grid, he made a good start but was baulked in the opening sequence of corners, dropping to fifth after the opening lap.
Brookesy then started to pull his way through the pack, soon finding himself in third place with a gap ahead to chase down the leading duo of Bryne and Iddon. The 34-year-old posted the fastest lap of the race as he went in pursuit, but he ran out of laps, crossing the line third.
By virtue of his lap time in race one, Josh started Sunday’s second race from pole position.
From the lights both Josh made a great start, grabbing the holeshot and battling for the lead with Byrne and Iddon, but by lap eight he’d dropped back to third place, after developing a vibration from the rear of his machine.
The former Champion fell back to fourth place by lap eleven, and brought the bike home safely seven laps later.
For the final race of the season Josh started from fourth on the grid.
As the sun beamed over the 2.4 mile Brands Hatch GP circuit, both Josh and Shaun made great starts from the lights, with Josh grabbing the holeshot and led the race after the opening lap, as Shaun looked to move his way through the pack.
By lap four the Aussie had dropped back to third, but he soon regrouped after a safety car situation due to a crash for Leon Haslam on lap six, and he pulled his way back to the front of pack by lap 12, holding his position until the second to last lap where Ellison made a move. Brookes wasn’t having any of it and at the next corner he responded and regained the lead.
Josh then posted a 1:25.5 on the last lap to keep the chasing pack behind to pick up his third win of the season, sealing second in the Championship.
“Leon’s form in the showdown has been fantastic, Shakey goes without saying, I’ve raced with him for years now and some of my best race craft has been formed by racing with Shakey, so I absolutely expected an extremely difficult event to try and challenge them.
“I wasn’t aware of Shakey’s situation, but when I saw Leon had crashed I knew that Shakey didn’t need to take any risk to win the Championship.
“I just gave it everything I had, it was a great relief to have the bike working very well in that last race, the first two races we had a couple of issues so to have the bike work perfectly in the last race was fantastic and I could ride confidently. To be sat here second in the Championship is a wonderful feeling.
“I need to say a big thank you to the Winfield family, everybody already knows they are a family run team. They don’t have the huge amount of resources, fancy equipment and sponsors like some of the other teams, they purely do it by passion and the will to win, so they deserve credit as much as I do.”
Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha Team Owner Rob Winfield
“It’s been unbelievable, not just for me, but for everybody involved it’s just incredible. Everyone has pulled together, and it just shows that little teams can do it, and I hope this gives some people the drive to move in Superbikes from the lower classes, because this proves it can be done.
“We’ve had no help what so ever, it can be done if you dig in, don’t waste money and focus on the job. I’m so proud, it’s brilliant what we’ve all achieved.
“I need to say a massive thank you to everyone, from the team, to the sponsors to absolutely everyone involved. I’m proud, emotional and drained. Last year we scored three points all season, this season we were three points from winning the entire show, it just shows what we can do, and we’ll be back fighting for the title in 2018.”
Josh Brookes ended the 2017 MCE British Superbike season in second place on 634-points, only three-points away from winning the title.
The team are currently finalising plans for the 2018 season, with announcements to be made in due course.
2017 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship Points Standings
- Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 637
- Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) 634
- Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 631
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 578
- Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 567
- Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) 562