Saturday, September 08 2012
Josh Brookes powered his Tyco Suzuki to a winning double in the crucial ninth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Donington Park which decided the final line up of the six Title Fighters who go forward to the Showdown for the crown which begins at Assen in two weeks time.
Brookes took his first victory since a winning ride at Thruxton in race one as he took charge to head off the threats posed by rivals Swan Yamaha's Tommy Hill and Michael Laverty aboard the Samsung Honda.
Laverty took the fight to Brookes in the second race at the Leicestershire circuit, with an intense duel for supremecy, but the Aussie had the upper hand to complete the double from Laverty with Hill third.
"It is pretty special to take a winning double in this championship," said Brookes. "From the first session here the bike was perfect and I had a good feeling throughout. Now I am looking forward to getting to Assen and getting to the part that really counts."
Hill had already confirmed his Title Fighter status before this round and now has a ten point lead over Brookes going into the Showdown. Former two times title winner Shane "Shakey" Byrne also had his place secure but was sidelined at Donington Park as he recovers from a shoulder injury. The Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider is set to return at Assen and lies third in the standings just two points behind his Australian rival with Laverty fourth.
WFR Honda's Alex Lowes maintained the form that he had shown in the previous round, taking sixth and fifth placings, to secure his place in the Showdown whilst Supersonic Racing BMW's Tommy Bridewell with ninth and fourth places also made the cut. That means six different teams representing five different manufactures will fight for the title over the final three rounds.
Ian Lowry saw his hopes ended when he crashed off his Padgetts Honda in the opening race while James Westmoreland on the second WFR Honda, despite strong rides, also missed out. Noriyuki Haga who bravely rode his Swan Yamaha through the pain of a broken collarbone in a vain bid to reach the Showdown failed to make the cut as did local rider Chris Walker and Stuart Easton on the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki.
The first round of the 2012 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship Showdown takes place at TT Circuit Assen on 21/22/23 September. For more information or to book tickets visit www.bsbassen.com.