Josh Brookes says his haul of points at Assen could prove to be his most vital of the 2017 MCE British Superbike championship as he keeps his title hopes alive heading into the final round of the year.

The Anvil Hire Yamaha rider bounced back from an underwhelming fifth place in the Assen opener to take the runner-up spot in race two and the highest-placed finisher of the BSB Showdown contenders behind winner Sylvain Guintoli for Bennetts Suzuki.

Brookes believes the 20 points for finishing second and ahead of BSB championship leader Leon Haslam could prove pivotal as he held the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider’s lead to 32 points, while keeping one point ahead of Shane Byrne, approaching the three-round finale at Brands Hatch.

“It was hard fought, certainly earlier in the race I felt I was giving everything I and the bike had and it didn’t seem to be enough to move forward,” Brookes said.

“I was like a paying spectator, I had to watch the guys ahead in a battle but fortunately towards the end of the race the tyre was still working good, and the character of me and the bike seems to work stronger at the end than it does at the beginning, so I started to become more of a player at the end of the race.

“Everybody’s desire to win was causing extreme moves and passes that slowed the race up, and that meant it put me in the perfect position to make passes.

“It wasn’t a win today but it almost feels like it, every point for me is extremely valuable. I would have liked to have been more consistent in the Showdown, but we’re not down and out, anything can happen yet so maybe these points are the most vital of the Championship yet.”

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They should by law,have to show a piccie of Brookes bird,to accompany every story about him.