Josh Brookes has been stripped of his third place finish in the first British Superbike race of the weekend at Cadwell Park after he was adjudged to have been at fault in his collision with Michael Rutter.
The Australian dived inside Rutter on lap six at the start of Hall Bends, prompting contact that would send Rutter across the grass and off his bike, the Rapid Bathams Ducati rider lucky not be collected by the chasing pack as he skated back across the tarmac.
Brookes would go on to finish the race in third position, but with Rutter sustaining rib injuries in the accident, stewards have decided to exclude the Relentless by TAS Suzuki rider from the results.
Despite the controversy surrounding the incident, Brookes defended the move, claiming he felt he had to go for the pass.
“You've got to go for every point you can at this stage of the championship – I had been up his exhaust pipes for four or five laps and had to make the move at Hall Bends.”
“I showed him the front wheel and had not intention of taking him down but he kept on the power. I wanted to make the pass but he went down - I expect that people will be saying bad boy Brookes is back,” he added.
Brookes's disqualification means Shane Byrne is promoted to third place - securing him a podium credit -, with Jon Kirkham fourth, Ryuichi Kiyonari fifth and Gary Mason in sixth.
Brookes and Rutter's failure to score is a blow to their hopes of making the BSB title showdown, though the former remains fifth on 146 points, the Australian now level with Kiyonari, whose position now looks far more secure than it did at the start of the race.
Rutter, on the other hand, has a 16 point deficit to Kiyonari (it was five points prior to the race), though it remains to be seen whether the BSB veteran will attempt to start the remaining two Cadwell Park races anyway. Kirkham and Mason are both five points behind Rutter, keeping them in the top six hunt.