Brookes grabs Assen victory, series lead

Josh Brookes's last gasp pass on Shane Byrne at the final corner scores him both the win and the British Superbike Championship lead; Lowes beats Hill to third.
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Josh Brookes has nosed into the lead of the MCE British Superbike Championship standings after sealing victory in race two at Assen with a daring last corner pass on Shane Byrne.

An exciting race that built to a two-way crescendo between long-time leader Byrne and Brookes behind him, the pair always looked set for a final lap exchange around the Dutch circuit, scene of several iconic last gasp passes in the past.

And so it would prove, Brookes lining up Byrne throughout the final lap to run out wide around Ramshoek to give him the inside run into the final corner Geert Timmer chicane. Though Byrne attempted to cut back inside to get a better run to the finish line, he found himself baulked by backmarker Aaron Zanotti.

As such, Brookes was able to hold on for a win that puts him two points ahead of Byrne in the overall standings, the Assen winners in turn now comfortably ahead of the luckless Tommy Hill.

Having failed to finish the first race due to a freak incident on the grid, Hill had originally done enough to secure pole position for race one, only to be demoted back to sixth when a rival team submitted a protest regarding tyre warmers not being removed early enough.

It would prove a fairly crucial moment, Hill struggling to make his way through the busy chasing pack. Indeed, though he would get up to third place, he was already too far behind the leaders to make an impression.

His bad day would be compounded further when Alex Lowes also launched a last corner pass that nudged Hill onto the gravel trap, demoting him to fourth. It means he is 22 points Brookes with five races remaining.

Behind the top four, Tommy Bridewell came out top of an entertaining scrap for fifth place, the Supersonic BMW rider getting the better of Noriyuki Haga and Michael Laverty, the latter two riders dropping back over the course of the race having been up in the top three during the initial laps.

Haga's biggest rival for the 'Riders' Cup', James Westmoreland kept the Yamaha rider honest in eighth place, while Robbin Harms notched up another top ten finish for Doodson Honda in ninth.

Stuart Easton rounded out the top ten, ahead of Luca Scassa, Barry Burrell, Patric Muff, Chris Walker and Jakub Smrz, the latter scoring Splitlath Redmond Aprilia's first point of the season despite suffering a technical problem on the finish line.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Hill, Brookes and Bridewell at Assen
Josh Brookes Tyco Suzuki - [picture credit: Ian Hopgood]
Josh Brookes Tyco Suzuki - [picture credit: Ian Hopgood]
Josh Brookes Tyco Suzuki - [picture credit: Ian Hopgood]
Josh Brookes - Tyco Suzuki [pic credit: Ian Hopgood]
Jason O`Halloran, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Josh Brookes, Anvil Hire Yamaha, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Peter Hickman, Smiths BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tommy Bridewell, Team WD-40 Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
James Ellison, McAMS Yamaha [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Alastair Seeley, Tyco BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Lee Jackson, Smiths Racing BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Haslam, Byrne, Mossey, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
James Ellison, McAMS Yamaha [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Haslam, Byrne, Mossey, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]

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weirdos - Unregistered

September 24, 2012 5:09 PM

Sorry. Haha is a world class rider and he has not beat Tommy hill in any race that Tommy has finished. If the swan yamahas are so fast haga would be up front every race. I think these are all just personal digs at Tommy because what some people are stating is just total rubbish and none of this is ever said exept forums. And if he is an average rider why do teams choose to employ him. Surley there are other average riders about who could win championships and races for free! Laverty left swan as he knew bike was pants!!!!

weirdos - Unregistered

September 24, 2012 4:58 PM

There's some weirdos on here. Please have facts first. Like who has one more races this year or who's qualified pole most. After a dnf in first race and to come through from 7th to 3rd was catching the front group before tyre went off he is now a rubbish rider??"""" He had less track time due to first race from incident. He is still leading if you use conventional scoring system. ( which I'm sure some of you have used to say he is not TRUE champion) its still looking good for Tommy. So as I said at becoming weirdos!!

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