News 8 Aug 2011

Brookes, Byrne and Hill split Brands Hatch BSB victories (includes Aussie rundown)

Aussie Josh Brookes broke through for his first win of the season at Brands Hatch.

Aussie Josh Brookes broke through for his first win of the season at Brands Hatch.

Shane Byrne and Tommy Hill shared the victories in the Sunday action of the eighth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship as they made up ground lost in Saturday’s rain affected opening race which was won by Australian Josh Brookes.

The Relentless Suzuki rider had taken his first victory of the season on a drying Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit while both Byrne and Hill finished out of the points after gambling incorrectly on tyre selection.

Both pitted to change tyres and took some consolation as they returned to the action posting fast lap times to secure front row starts for the first of the Sunday races.

Hill was quickly into the lead on his Swan Yamaha with Kawasaki World Superbike ride Joan Lascorz, Michael Rutter on the Rapid Solicitors Bathams Ducati and Byrne in hot pursuit.

Byrne was on the ascendancy and was running second on the fourth lap and two laps later at Surtees he made the decisive move forcing his HM Plant Honda into the lead.

Hill tried to hit back, running little more than a couple of machine lengths down and several times looked all set to go back into the lead but Byrne had the edge taking his fourth victory of the season by half a second.

John Hopkins took third place on the Samsung Crescent Suzuki ahead of Michael Laverty on the second Swan Yamaha and Rutter who was just ahead of Brookes.

Byrne had targeted his first double win of the season but Hill was still smarting from his narrow defeat and was determined to make amends. He made the perfect start with Hopkins running in close contention and Byrne in third place ahead of Laverty.

Hill was pressurised all of the way by the determined Hopkins as he took his fifth victory of the season in what he described as “probably my best ride of the season, and for that matter last season as well. It was a case of riding as hard as I could, pushing all of the way.

“Saturday had been a bit iffy with the conditions and the first race on Sunday afternoon was a case of getting out there and finding my feet.

“Then it was a case in the last race of getting out there, getting my head down and pushing on as hard as I could because Hopper was riding so hard and well just behind me to keep the pressure on all of the way.

“The team has worked so well for me across the weekend, my bike was fine so this race win was for them,” added Hill as finished four seconds clear of Hopkins.

Byrne, with third place secured his place, along with Hopkins and Hill, among the six Title Fighters going forward into the ‘Showdown’ for the title finale.

The former two times winner of the crown later explained: “I rode as hard as I could in that race but had an issue with rear wheel vibration and if I put the power down the bike skipped around a bit.

“I decided that a first and a third were much better than a first and a DNF so took the position, the points and the podium credit.”

Laverty took a close fourth ahead of Rutter while the triple champion Ryuichi Kiyonari at last showed some real form after two earlier disappointing rides as he came in sixth.

But for Brookes the weekend ended on a flat note as he was sidelined by a machine problem.

World Supersport regular Broc Parkes made his Superbike return with the Kawasaki WSBK team in a BSB wild card, finishing the weekend with 18-13-12 results.

Graeme Gowland took a hat-trick of victories in the BSB-EVO class but his WFR Honda teammate Glen Richards, second in each of the races, still leads the title stakes.

ASBK series leader Glenn Allerton made his BSB debut, racing to 8-7-6 results in the EVO class for Doodson Motorsport BMW. Allerton was forced to skip qualifying after crashing in practice, the EVO class only allowing a single bike per rider.

In Supersport over the weekend, both races were won by Relentless Suzuki’s Alastair Seeley. Billy McConnell took fifth in race one, while Triumph teammate Paul Young took the position in race two.

Pat Medcalf made a surprise appearance aboard a Kawasaki in Superstock 1000 and finished 14th, a few places behind countryman David Johnson in 11th. Alex Cudlin finished 22nd.

Superstock 600 saw Ben Burke score seventh, with Andy Lawson 18th.