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Brookes holds nerve as Bridewell goes safe

9 September 2012

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Josh Brookes has given himself a boost ahead of the MCE British Superbike 'Title Showdown' after dominating an interrupted first race of the day at Donington Park, while Tommy Bridewell is now assured of a place in the three-round shootout too.

The Australian looked on course for a fairly comfortable victory as he led away from pole position at the first start, but was made to do it all over again when a red flag period proposed a seven-lap sprint that threatened to derail his concentration.

Prompted when team-mate Alastair Seeley's Tyco Suzuki let go in spectacular fashion through the Craner Curves, Brookes shrugged off the lengthy stoppage to get away well from pole position again to rebuff the attentions of Tommy Hill and Michael Laverty over the much shorter distance.

Picking up three potentially crucial podium credits, Brookes's cause was arguably aided when Stuart Easton got a magnificent start from eighth place on the grid to move into second place at the first bend, ahead of Hill and Laverty.

By contrast, it seemed WFR Honda had the most to lose from the restarted race, Alex Lowes and James Westmoreland having been a comfortable fourth and fifth when it was stopped, crucially well ahead of 'Showdown' rival Noriyuki Haga.

However, the restart appeared to fire up Haga, who jumped up to fifth place, while Lowes and Westmoreland were shuffled down to seventh and tenth. Similarly, Bridewell, who was running sixth at the break, got a bad start to drop to tenth.

Nonetheless, both Lowes and Westmoreland made swift gains up the order, both passing Haga at the start of lap four. The move, which forced Haga from fifth to 15th by the end of the lap, would signal the beginning of the end for the crocked Swan Yamaha rider as he coasted home in 21st and out of the points.

Back at the front, Brookes rounded off only his second win of the season, comfortably ahead of Hill and Laverty, who eventually made their way past Easton but could do nothing to rival the Suzuki.

Easton, who has been under pressure to improve his results following a dip in form, showed flashes of his best as he diced with Westmoreland and Lowes. With Lowes's hasty pass into the Melbourne Hairpin only having the effect of running himself wide, Easton held on for fourth, ahead of Westmoreland and Lowes.

Crucially, in terms of the fight for the two remaining Title Showdown places, Bridewell's quiet run to ninth, behind Jon Kirkham and Chris Walker, coupled to Haga and Ian Lowry's non-score – the latter having crashed prior to the red flag - has confirmed his entry to the shootout.

Lowes, meanwhile, can still mathematically be beaten by Lowry, Westmoreland and Haga, but he carries a comfortable 16, 20 and 22 point advantage over all three with just one race remaining.

Elsewhere in the results, Barry Burrell completed a fine top ten finish for Buildbase BMW, ahead of Luca Scassa, Patric Muff, Danny Buchan, Luke Quigley and Robbin Harms, the Dane picking up his first BSB point for Doodson Honda.


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