Josh Brookes achieved a trio of firsts in the second race of round two of the 2010 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Thruxton – his breakthrough victory in the series, becoming the first Australian to triumph since Troy Bayliss more than a decade ago and securing HM Plant Honda's first success in over a year.
From third on the starting grid, Brookes was the architect of a lightning getaway when the starting lights went out – and it was a moment that would go on to define his race. The Sydney native led fellow fast-starter Yukio Kagayama, Gary Mason and race one winner Tommy Hill into the Complex for the first time, before the latter disposed of the two riders directly ahead of him and set his sights on making it cause for a double celebration.
Another rider on the move was Swan Honda's Stuart Easton, who had begun all the way down in eleventh based upon his fastest lap time from race one, but who soon latched onto the back of the front-running quartet of Brookes, Hill, Kagayama and Michael Rutter.
The Scot went onto indulge in a frenetic scrap with Kagayama and Ridersmotorcycles.com Ducati duo Rutter and pole-sitter Martin Jessopp over P3, with the infighting between the four enabling Brookes and Hill to scamper away – and the man from Down Under artfully holding his pursuer at bay all the way to the chequered flag by the margin of just shy of four tenths of a second.
“To win today feels good as I have been waiting a long time to win a BSB race,” enthused the 26-year-old to the championship's official website. “In race one I rode the best I could and finished second, and I proved I could be consistent and not make mistakes.
“It was great for me to lead the race from the start to the finish. I knew Tommy was breathing down my neck and was right on my tail, so I just got my head down and stayed consistent. It's amazing to have finished the day like this and I hadn't put any pressure on myself to win as I knew I was capable of it, but at least now I have a trophy to prove it.”
With Hill's runner-up spot allowing the Worx Crescent Suzuki ace to extend his lead in the title standings, the fierce battle over the final rostrum position was ultimately resolved in favour of the gutsy Easton, by barely three hundredths of a second from a resurgent Ryuichi Kiyonari as elbows rubbed against each other and positions changed in quick succession all the way to the finish line. Jessopp took a similarly close fifth ahead of Michael Laverty and namesake Rutter, with John Laverty, Alastair Seeley and Mason rounding out the top ten.
A fading Kagayama, Dan Linfoot, Peter Hickman, Steve Brogan and earlier retiree Chris Walker completed the points-scorers, with David Anthony again taking Evo class honours for MIST Suzuki in 17th overall.
To see the race results in full, click here