Ben Bostrom emerged victorious in race two at Brands Hatch today, the American battling tooth and nail with British hero Neil Hodgson – the pair clearly in a class of their own around the challenging Kent track.
After the thrilling Bostrom/Hodgson battle in race one, the 100,000 plus fans were hoping for more of the same in race two – and they weren't disappointed. Bostrom was out to win 'properly' by taking the chequered flag after his earlier aggregate victory, while Hodgson desperately wanted to stand on the top step of the podium in front of the his home fans at the biggest World Superbike race of the year.
As the red lights disappeared to signal the start pole sitter Hodgson seemed to lift his front wheel a little to high – and third place starter Edwards looked to have the jump on the Englishman into turn one.
However, Hodgson held his line – and nerve – around the outside to lead the field around lap one of twenty-five, from Edwards, Bostrom, Chili, Hislop and Hodgson's teammate James Toseland, with championship leader Troy Bayliss tenth.
The leading GSE Ducati rider did his best to pull away from the field in the early laps – but to no avail, as Edwards was looking much stronger than in race one, when he'd suffered badly from a tyre change before the restart
By lap four Bayliss was the man on the move, slicing precisely through the field on his #21 Ducati – culminating in a double pass on Hislop and Toseland for fifth into Clearways, before the Australian set his sights on Chili's Suzuki.
Up front, Bostrom was starting to pressure Edwards for second, eager to dispatch his fellow American who was starting to drop off the pace. The race one winner attempted to pass the Honda into Paddock Hill Bend – but the Texan Tornado firmly shut the door.
Next time around BB was more definite and held his line into the off camber first turn, leaving Edwards to face Chili's onslaught for the final podium position. Once in clean air Bostrom immediately showed he had lost none of his speed from race one as he set the fastest laps of the race, while closing in on Hodgson by 0.2secs a lap.
By lap nine Bostrom was right on the #100 machines rear wheel and when the move came it was no surprise that it was along the main straight – a section which had proved a happy hunting ground for Bostrom in both races, his works Ducati holding a slight horsepower advantage over Hodgson's GSE machine.