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Brookes bites back with last corner win

23 September 2012

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Josh Brookes has nosed into the lead of the MCE British Superbike Championship standings after sealing victory in race two at Assen with a daring last corner pass on Shane Byrne.

An exciting race that built to a two-way crescendo between long-time leader Byrne and Brookes behind him, the pair always looked set for a final lap exchange around the Dutch circuit, scene of several iconic last gasp passes in the past.

And so it would prove, Brookes lining up Byrne throughout the final lap to run out wide around Ramshoek to give him the inside run into the final corner Geert Timmer chicane. Though Byrne attempted to cut back inside to get a better run to the finish line, he found himself baulked by backmarker Aaron Zanotti.

As such, Brookes was able to hold on for a win that puts him two points ahead of Byrne in the overall standings, the Assen winners in turn now comfortably ahead of the luckless Tommy Hill.

Having failed to finish the first race due to a freak incident on the grid, Hill had originally done enough to secure pole position for race one, only to be demoted back to sixth when a rival team submitted a protest regarding tyre warmers not being removed early enough.

It would prove a fairly crucial moment, Hill struggling to make his way through the busy chasing pack. Indeed, though he would get up to third place, he was already too far behind the leaders to make an impression.

His bad day would be compounded further when Alex Lowes also launched a last corner pass that nudged Hill onto the gravel trap, demoting him to fourth. It means he is 22 points Brookes with five races remaining.

Behind the top four, Tommy Bridewell came out top of an entertaining scrap for fifth place, the Supersonic BMW rider getting the better of Noriyuki Haga and Michael Laverty, the latter two riders dropping back over the course of the race having been up in the top three during the initial laps.

Haga's biggest rival for the 'Riders' Cup', James Westmoreland kept the Yamaha rider honest in eighth place, while Robbin Harms notched up another top ten finish for Doodson Honda in ninth.

Stuart Easton rounded out the top ten, ahead of Luca Scassa, Barry Burrell, Patric Muff, Chris Walker and Jakub Smrz, the latter scoring Splitlath Redmond Aprilia's first point of the season despite suffering a technical problem on the finish line.


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