Josh Brookes says he narrowly avoided a last lap bash with Ryuichi Kiyonari, after pinching third place from the Buildbase BMW rider by just 0.026 seconds in race one at Brands Hatch.

The Milwaukee Yamaha notched up consecutive rostrum places in round two of the MCE British Superbike season but had to fight his way past Kiyonari on both occasions around the Kent track. In race one, a safety car period in the closing stages saw race direction add three laps on to the race distance which set up a sprint to the chequered flag.

Kiyonari dropped from second to fourth in the final lap battles but Brookes says he almost rear-ended the Japanese rider down the start/finish straight, with one tenth of a second covering Byrne, Brookes and Kiyonari.

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"I actually thought my chances of podium were gone by the mid-part of race one," Brookes said. "Then the safety car came out and it bunched everyone back up again. I set about trying to do a good finish to the race, and because we were all bunched up, it was all to play for again.

"As it was, Shakey forced a pass on Kiyo and they both lost a bit of momentum and I went into the last turn and actually nearly ran into the back of Kiyo - it was really close.

"It was a heart in the mouth type situation, but I got a slingshot effect, on to the start-finish straight and I was able to squeeze between the two of them for third position."

The Australian rider leaves Brands Hatch sitting third in the championship, trailling the breakaway duo of Byrne and James Ellison. Brookes is adamant his Miwaukee Yamaha squad is still searching for the best race setup but is satisfied with the new R1's results in its maiden BSB rounds.

"James Ellison was disappearing which was a bit annoying - it means you've got to do something," Brookes. "You can't do it in that race but something's got to change going forward to try and make that back. I just focused on trying to catch Shakey, and I thought I was doing a good job, but not good enough."