for BSB Race Results (1) at Thruxton
Josh Brookes has secured his second MCE British Superbike Championship win of the season at Thruxton to take a significant step towards reaching the 2014 Title Showdown.
After a difficult weekend last time out at Brands Hatch, Brookes – starting from second on the grid – proved back on form around the high-speed circuit, biding his time in the early stages behind initial leader Dan Linfoot before moving ahead on lap seven and pulling away to victory.
Indeed, it was Linfoot that would impressive early on after getting the jump from the first row, the Quattro Plant Kawasaki rider nosing ahead of Brookes and Shane Byrne through the first complex, whilst first-time BSB pole sitter Jakub Smrz suffered with a dismal getaway that left him eighth.
From here Linfoot would set a good pace, pulling Brookes and Byrne into a comfortable lead out front, well ahead of Michael Rutter and Chris Walker behind.
However, having looked poised behind Linfoot during the early laps, Brookes made his pass with 13 laps of the race to go and though Byrne would follow suit just two laps later, the BSB leader had no answer to the Australian's pace.
Allowing Brookes to cruise to his second win of the year, he would finish four seconds up on Byrne, who was forced into a rear guard action in the closing stages as he came up against a charging Ryuichi Kiyonari.
After struggling in qualifying to leave him 11th on the grid, Kiyonari hustled his way through a busy top ten pack to catch and pass Dan Linfoot ahead for third place, before setting about on Byrne as they entered the final lap.
However, though the Japanese rider would have momentum on his side as he carved up the inside at Cobb, Byrne would simply strike back to get the better of his rival through the final corner Club chicane and retain second position.
Behind Kiyonari, Linfoot held on for a well-deserved fourth place despite being caught by the fast-approaching Tommy Bridewell, who in nonetheless ensured Milwaukee Yamaha a double top five finish.
Recovering from his terrible start, Smrz prevailed in an intense battle for sixth, with just himself, Chris Walker, John Hopkins, Michael Rutter, Patric Muff, Jon Kirkham, Peter Hickman and Barry Burrell split by two seconds between sixth down to 13th positions.
Further back, Keith Farmer picked up points for 14th place, with Lee Jackson getting the last digit for 15th place in his second BSB outing with Buildbase BMW.
Meanwhile, having come into the weekend as a Title Showdown contender – particular since main rivals James Ellison and Richard Cooper are out through injury -, Stuart Easton continued to struggle this weekend as he finished outside the points in 16th, while Brands Hatch race winner Josh Waters was also disappointing in 17th.