for BSB Race Results (2) at Thruxton
Josh Brookes has given his British Superbike Championship title aspirations a welcome boost by completing his first double victory as a Milwaukee Yamaha rider at Thruxton.
Coming out on top of a race shortened to 15 laps after Brookes' team-mate Tommy Bridewell's expiring Yamaha caused a red flag to clear oil on the run to Club chicane, though the Australian was shuffled down the order in the early laps to run as low as fifth at one stage, a marvellous short, sharp charge would see him quickly take control.
Indeed, it was Shane Byrne who led from the pole position he inherited by virtue of leading on lap five when the first start was red flagged, with Dan Linfoot and Brookes slotting in behind.
Having run away with victory in race one, Brookes's route to victory in race two would prove rather more difficult as first Chris Walker and then Ryuichi Kiyonari bullied him down to the back of the tight lead pack by lap four
Undeterred, Brookes quickly began making tracks up the order again, dispatching of Kiyonari on lap five, before pulling off moves on Linfoot for third and Walker for second on lap six around the outside of Church and into Club.
Quickly onto the back of Byrne in front, Brookes gave his title rival no chance to respond, the Australian up into the lead just four corners later with a surprise pass into Allard.
Quickly attempting to make a gap back to the chasers, though his efforts to streak away weren't so successful, Brookes would prove just strong enough around the long, high-speed bends to keep Byrne sufficiently at bay when both he and Kiyonari – now up to third place – mounted an aggressive last lap challenge.
A confidence-boosting double win after a run of disappointing results, Brookes' wins consolidate his second position in the overall standings and help multiply his crucial podium credits too. He now has 24 credits to Byrne's 45.
Forced once again to defend hard against a charging Kiyonari on the final lap, even an untidy final corner couldn't deny Byrne another second place finish, with the Japanese rider settling for third to complete an identical podium to that of race one.
Missing out on his maiden rostrum once again, Linfoot nonetheless made his mark with another fourth place finish, while both he and fifth place Walker proved they are worthy contenders for a Title Showdown spot as they progress level on points into the overall top six at the expense of the unfortunate Bridewell, while the sidelined James Ellison is just eight points ahead.
Behind them, Jon Kirkham won an entertaining scrap for sixth place on the Halsall Kawasaki, ahead of Stuart Easton, who ended a difficult weekend on a high with a feisty charge up the order from 14th on the grid.
John Hopkins crossed the line in eighth place, ahead of Howie Mainwaring and Peter Hickman, the latter running as high as fifth at one stage but left floundering against faster opposition down the long straights.
Patric Muff, Josh Waters, Jakub Smrz – who was forced to fight back from an early off -, Barry Burrell and Aaron Zanotti completed the points' paying positions.