News 19 Apr 2010

BSB: Brookes claims first ever British victory at Thruxton

Brookes won the first BSB race of the year at Thruxton over the weekend.

Brookes won the first BSB race of the year at Thruxton over the weekend.

HM Plant Honda’s Josh Brookes took a maiden race win in the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship in the second race at Thruxton on Sunday, becoming the first Australian to win a BSB race since Troy Bayliss in 1999 and securing the team’s first race win since the 2008 season.

Brookes had a lightening start off the line in race two to lead Yukio Kagayama into the Complex for the first time ahead of Gary Mason and Tommy Hill. The Worx Crescent Suzuki championship leader moved to second by the third lap and was closing on Brookes who had pulled a few bike lengths on his rival.

Stuart Easton was on the move too after ending the opening lap seventh, but by lap five was up to fifth and the leading group of Brookes, Hill, Yukio Kagayama, Michael Rutter and Easton were inseparable as they fought it out for the podium finish.

Easton was up to third by the ninth lap for the Swan Honda team after launching passed Rutter into the Club Chicane. Jessopp was then moving places, he worked his way up to third as the two Ducatis battled against Easton and Kagayama as Brookes and Hill edged an advantage.

The pack battling for third were rubbing elbows as they diced lap after lap for positions, with all four sitting third at different stages of the lap. Jessopp and Easton fought it out for third, with Easton taking the advantage, but in the final laps Ryuichi Kiyonari joined the fray as he closed in on the second HM Plant Honda.

Easton was able to hold on to third in the closing stages and although Hill was shadowing his Australian rival but was unable to make a pass, but the Worx Crescent Suzuki still leads the standings as the championship prepares for the next round at Oulton Park on the May Bank Holiday weekend.

“To win today feels good as I have been waiting a long time to win a BSB race,” Brookes commented. “In race one I rode the best I could and finished second and I proved I could be consistent and not make mistakes.

“It was great for me to lead the race from the start to the finish and I know Tommy was breathing down my neck and was right on my tail so I just got my head down and stayed consistent. Its amazing to have finished the day like this and I hadn’t put any pressure on myself to win as I knew I was capable of it, but at least now I have a trophy to prove it.”

Earlier in the day, Hill battled his way out to his second win of the season after a dog fight between the leading five riders at Thruxton in the opening race of the day, edging out Brookes and Kagayama, who took his first BSB podium since 2004.

Brookes took the lead on lap 15 as he fired passed Kagayama at Noble. The battle was behind then between the Worx Crescent Suzukis with Kagayama and Hill swapping places throughout the 17th lap, the Japanese ace held the advantage then Hill made a move at the Club Chicane the following lap to repay the compliment.

Hill took the lead from Brookes on the penultimate lap and then edged a slight advantage to hold the lead, with the HM Plant Honda rider taking his first podium of the season.

“That race was non-stop every lap and it was a real fight out there and towards the end everyone was all over the place,” Hill said. “I was comfortable in the middle of the race but then Josh came past and I have to say I wasn’t expecting it as I thought I had braked late! It is good for everyone and I want to thank the Worx Crescent Suzuki team; lets see if we can make it the double in race two.”

South Australian Billy McConnell finished fourth in the Supersport final, while Jason O’Halloran bounced back to claim 10th after a heavy practice crash earlier in the weekend.

The next round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park on 1-3 May.

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