BSB 2011 – Round Eight – Brands Hatch GP
Josh Brookes takes opening victory in mixed conditions at Brands
Top six finishers – race one, 15 laps
1 Josh Brookes (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) 22m 53.718s
2 Michael Rutter (Rapid Solicitors Bathams Ducati) + 2.072s
3 Gary Mason (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +2.322s
4 John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Suzuki) +6.022s
5 Chris Walker (Pr1mo Kawasaki) +8.111s
6 James Westmoreland (Motorpoint Yamaha) +10.783s
1 Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) 214pts
2 John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Suzuki) 195pts
3 Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) 165pts
4 Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) 137pts
5 Josh Brookes (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) 136pts
6 Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) 121pts
Josh Brookes made light of his fourth row start to storm through the pack and take his first victory of the season in the opening race of the eighth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship run in the damp of the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit. Fellow Australian riders Glen Richards finished 10th overall, making him the second highest finisher in the EVO category. Wildcard entrants Broc Parkes (Kawasaki) and Glenn Allerton (BMW – EVO Class) finished 18th and 22nd respectively.
Brookes took charge of the race with hard riding aboard his Relentless Suzuki as his team’s choice of fitting intermediate tyres proved to be a winner on an afternoon when both of the title chasing duo of Shane Byrne and Tommy Hill finished out of the points having gambled wrongly with tyre choice.
Both pitted to change to slick tyres as the circuit dried, and for both there was some consolation to make up for their nil points scores as they secured front row starts for the first of tomorrow’s (Sunday) two races, with Hill having his Swan Yamaha on pole ahead of the Kawasaki of Joan Lascorz and the Byrne’s HM Plant Honda.
Lascorz had led the opening lap from Byrne with Samsung Crescent Suzuki’s John Hopkins third ahead of Brookes who had charged through to be fourth at the end of the opening lap. Lascorz was soon slowing, dropping back into third place and then pitting, with Byrne going into the lead on the second lap from Hopkins.
Next time around, Brookes was in the lead from Hopkins with Gary Mason on the MSS Colchester Kawasaki third from Byrne and the leader in the Mirror.co.uk BSB-EVO class Graeme Gowland on the WFR Honda.
Brookes was charging clear, running two seconds ahead, as Mason attacked Hopkins to grab second place while further down the pack Rutter, who had opted to run with slick tyres on his Rapid Solicitors Batham Ducati, was gaining places by the lap.
Rutter was running fourth, having overcome his long standing rival Chris Walker, going into the final third of the race while out front Brookes was comfortably clear of Mason and Hopkins. Rutter found a way ahead of Hopkins as the American’s Suzuki bucked out of line, with four laps to go and the Ducati rider was soon reeling in Mason.
Rutter was through to second place on the penultimate lap but the victory belonged to Brookes who took his first victory of the season by two seconds and those points moved him ahead of reigning champion Ryuichi Kiyonari into fifth place in the standings.
Mason matched his previous best result as he took third place with Hopkins fourth and closing within 19 points of Byrne at the top of the standings. Walker was fifth on the Pr1mo Racing Kawasaki ahead of James Westmoreland on the Motorpoint Yamaha.
Gowland, the winner of the BSB-EVO class, finished ahead of Michael Laverty on the second Swan Yamaha and Samsung Suzuki’s Jon Kirkham as Glenn Richards, the BSB-EVO class leader, completed the top ten finishers aboard his WFR Honda.
The eighth round continues on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit tomorrow afternoon (Sunday) with races at 13.15 and 16.35.
— Relentless Suzuki Report
Relentless Suzuki by TAS Racing went one-one in both British Superbike and British Supersport classes today at the Brands Hatch BSB Triple-Header:
Australian Josh Brookes claimed his first-ever BSB victory in Suzuki livery – moving into fifth place in the Championship standings with an astute tyre choice – and Ulsterman Alastair Seeley sealed another great victory for the team aboard his GSX-R600 Suzuki.
The only tinge of disappointment for Brookes is having to do all the hard work again tomorrow from the fourth-row-of-the-grid, despite his victory: Some of his rivals – who eventually finished outside the points – came in to change tyres, helping them post somewhat contentious front row grid positions for tomorrow’s second outing.
After taking the British Supersport Pole on his GSX-R600, Seeley went on to take his fourth victory of the season – from 10 podiums to date – ahead of Championship leader Ben Wilson. Seeley has reduced the deficit in the Championship standings to 48 points. Race two takes place tomorrow.
Josh Brookes: “The bike was perfect for the conditions and despite many other riders also on intermediate tyres; I didn’t have any problems at all; even on the first four or five laps when water was still visible. I was confident to push and I had to because I was starting from row four. It proves how good a team we have to work through these conditions, but I’m disappointed at having to start from the fourth row again tomorrow.”
Alastair Seeley: “That’s one part of the job done this weekend and it’s always nice to take another win for the all-new GSX-R600. I’ve closed the gap on Ben a little today and will be looking to do a similar job tomorrow, although it would be good to have some of the other boys in the mix to create an ever bigger gap in the points at the end of the weekend if we can pull off another win. Four wins from 10 podiums shows the strength we have in depth and I believe we’ll get stronger and mount a serious challenge on the run-in.”
Philip Neill – Team Manager: “We have had both bitter and sweet memories from our time racing at Brands Hatch. There have been some very tough days but others with wins in Superstock and Supersport; and of course that first Superbike victory here last year with Alastair.
“Obviously we are over the moon to see Josh getting his first win for the team after such a big effort and many ups-and-downs, but days like this keeps everyone pushing on and striving for success. Along with Josh, we made the correct tyre choice. He rode superbly and never looked like he was going to be beaten.
“For Alastair, it was another superb display of brilliance, but fair play to Ben Wilson – he tried very hard. Alastair is a smart ‘wee cookie’ and covered every move on the last lap. It’s been a great day for our team and all our sponsors; so a big thank you to Suzuki, Relentless, Worx, Beacon Security, Red Torpedo and all our other faithful sponsors.”
British Superbike Championship – race one result:
1.Josh Brookes (Relentless Suzuki by TAS)
2.Michael Rutter (Ducati) +2.072s
3.Gary Mason (Kawasaki) +2.322s
4.John Hopkins [Suzuki) +6.022s
5.Chris Walker (Kawasaki) +8.111s
6.James Westmoreland (Yamaha) +10.783s
7.Graeme Gowland (Honda) +11.626s
8.Michael Laverty (Yamaha) +18.849s
9.Jon Kirkham (Suzuki) +22.729s
10.Glen Richards [Honda) +26.227s
Brands Schedule – Sunday [GP Circuit]
1.15pm: BSB Race 2 [20 laps]
3.35pm: Supersport Race 2 [18 laps]
4.35pm: BSB Race 3 [20 laps]