Josh Brookes has put breathing space between himself and the MCE British Superbike Showdown challengers to close in on a top six spot thanks to second place in the Silverstone opener.

Opting for the conservative full wet set-up in the mixed conditions Brookes led the opening stages of the race for Anvil Hire Yamaha before being reeled in by Glenn Irwin. Despite hunting victory Brookes stuck to his own pace on the slippery surface to keep hold of an all-important second place as the best finisher of the Showdown contenders.

While adding to his Podium Points tally Brookes has moved up to fourth in BSB standings and extended the gap on main Showdown challenger Jake Dixon to 18 points with two races to go until the three-round finale.

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Brookes feared his wet tyre choice would’ve been too cautious for conditions but was thrilled to profit as his title rivals faltered, with Shane Byrne and Leon Haslam crashing out while Peter Hickman started from the pitlane due to a last-minute tyre change.

“I definitely needed those podium points as we’ve been a little off song for podiums this year than what I would have liked,” Brookes said. “The race was half-decided on the grid as it was a really tricky one to know what tyres to go for.

“I looked on the sighting lap and most of the time I’m one to go for dry tyres but after I saw the track on the sighting lap there was too much standing water even though there were also a lot of dry patches. The gut instinct was to go for the wet tyres and try to fight it out.

“I thought most of the grid would go for the wet tyres but when I saw the tyre warmers coming off there was a big variety of choices.

“Focusing on the race I was trying to be as smooth as possible but I had the tyre let go a few times and nearly crashed so I had to ride my pace and ignore what the others were doing. Glenn rode a fantastic race and there was one area around the new Formula 1 pit complex where he was much faster so I was pleased to take second.”