Josh Brookes took his first pole since returning from WSBK and he did so in very tricky conditions setting an amazing lap time that no one could match, He was joined on the front row by Luke Mossey and Dan Linfoot who just like his team mate seems to finally getting to grips with the new Honda Fireblade. Peter Hickman had a great showing qualifying again as top BMW he finished ahead of the Ducati’s of John Hopkins and Shane Byrne. The third row was made up of James Ellison, Leon Haslam and James Westmoreland a brilliant performance from the Gearlink Kawasaki rider.
1 25 Josh BROOKES AUS Yamaha – Anvil Hire TAG Racing
2 12 Luke MOSSEY GBR Kawasaki – JG Speedfit Kawasaki
3 4 Dan LINFOOT GBR Honda – Honda Racing
4 60 Peter HICKMAN GBR BMW – Smiths Racing
5 21 John HOPKINS USA Ducati – Moto Rapido
6 67 Shane BYRNE GBR Ducati – Be Wiser Ducati Racing Team
7 77 James ELLISON GBR Yamaha – McAMS Yamaha
8 91 Leon HASLAM GBR Kawasaki – JG Speedfit Kawasaki
9 5 James WESTMORELAND GBR Kawasaki – Gearlink Kawasaki
Shane Byrne showed all of his talent and experience taking the win, He was made to work for it mainly by his own doing though he got away from the line well but was forced back to 9th after running wide luckily a saftey car allowed him to close the gap on the front group. He continued to carve his way through the field after the safety car came in and took the lead just in time before the weather moved in and forced the race to be red flagged 2 laps before the end.
Dan Linfoot brought home his Honda in second place a great and much needed result for him to try and claw his way back into showdown contention, He had been running strong all race and was even looking good for the win at a time unfortunately he was unable to fend off Byrne at the end but overall a much better result for him than in recent weeks.
Rounding off the podium was Leon Haslam he had been struggling for pace all weekend unable to match the lap record speeds others were doing in the practice sessions, But always the racer Haslam got away from the line well and stuck in the main group managing his tyres and when conditions got that bit trickier he was able to make his experience count and took third place from Peter Hickman.
Hickman still looking for his first podium of the year brought the Smiths BMW home in fourth place running at the front of the race for the majority of it he just lost out in the final few laps as the grip seemed to leave him, Pole man Josh Brookes started strong but fell back down the field in the middle of the race he did regroup and eventually finished in 5th. James Ellison, Jason O’Halloran,Chrisitian Iddon,John Hopkins and Bradley Ray completed the top 10 with formerly championship leader Luke Mossey only finishing in 12th an awful result in terms of his championship challenge after the race he told Eurosport that he was suffering from Braking issues during the race.
Race 2 :
The King of Brands very much lived up to his title as Shane Byrne took the double win again at Brands leading from start to finish he never looked over his limits but was still so much faster than everyone bar Josh Brookes, Brookes had been pushing Byrne even setting the a new lap record around the circuit with the first ever 1″24 lap time in race trim but unfortunately for him and fans he crashed his Yamaha on lap 9 leaving Byrne alone at the front of the race to take a comfortable victory his 17th in total around Brands and furthering his lead at the top of the title race.
James Ellison brought home his McAMS Yamaha in second place after finishing 6th in race 1 this completed a very good weekend for Ellison who in previous rounds has shown the pace to compete at the front but either through crashes or mechanical failures hasnt scored the points needed to get into the top 6 showdown he will be hoping this is the start of more consistency for him.
Rounding out the podium and after 2 months of not being able to race was TYCO BMW’s Christian Iddon, Lamenting a bit of race rustiness after being pushed back in race 1 a determined Iddon set off well sticking with the leading pack fighting with Ellison for the majority of the race just losing out on 2nd to him. This result was a much needed boost for Iddon’s showdown hopes and a step in the right direction after a disastrous couple of months just like Ellison he will be hoping this is the start of some consistency for himself to push into the top 6.
Peter Hickman again just missed out on his first podium of the year taking 4th place, 2 good result again this weekend however further cemented his place in the showdown unfortunately with no podium credits to his name he is at a severe disadvantage should he make it. Leon Haslam held of the advances of Luke Mossey and Jason O’Halloran to secure 5th place, Bradley Ray showed up his more experienced team mates taking the new GSXR to 8th place holding off Michael Laverty a great result for the rookie who keeps going from strength to strength each weekend.