2011 British Superbike
Josh Brookes took his first win of the 2011 British Superbike season Saturday at race one of three at Brands Hatch (Round 8).
The Relentless Suzuki rider of Australia was victorious after choosing a harder tire, finishing ahead of HM Plant Honda’s Shane Byrne and Swan Yamaha’s Tommy Hill.
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 Yamaha YZF-R1 on pole ahead of the Kawasaki of Joan Lascorz and Byrne’s Honda CBR1000RR.
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.
2011 British Superbike: Brands Hatch Race 1 Results:
Top six finishers – race one, 15 laps (Saturday)
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
British Superbike Championship positions
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