28 March 2004
Wild-card Brookes grabs Supersport win.
Local wild-card Josh Brookes took a thrilling last gasp World Supersport victory at Phillip Island today, denying countryman Kevin Curtain with a brave around-the-outside move just a few corners from the chequered flag.
Curtain had led almost all the event up to that point, having grabbed the initial advantage from the Ten Kate Hondas of pole sitter Karl Muggeridge and Broc Parkes, with Brookes fourth through the opening sequence of sweeping corners.
The four Australians then proceeded to put on a great show for their home fans, constantly exchanging positions with almost effortlessly, before Jurgen van den Goorbergh finally broke the local domination by snatching fourth from Parkes on lap 6 of 21.
The top five would remain nose-to-tail - with Suzuki's Katsuaki Fujiwara and van den Goorbergh's Yamaha Italia team-mate Fabien Foret leading the second group of riders a few seconds back - up to and beyond the half way point, before Parkes began to feel the pace and drop back..
Meanwhile, the all-action Brookes was still searching for a way past Curtain, but the experienced 37-year-old kept inch perfect around the seaside circuit to thwart each of his young rival's efforts, as both began stretching a lead over the Muggeridge/van den Goorbergh fight for third.
With just three laps to go the Dutchman found himself handed the position when Muggeridge suffered frustrating mechanical problems, but Valencia winner Jurgen couldn't close the six-second gap to the top two and was left an interested observer as the last lap began with Curtain just 0.095secs ahead.
The Yamaha Deutschland rider's R6 had enough power advantage to prevent a slipstream move, reducing Brookes' options to an outbraking manoeuvre into either the Honda hairpin or the downhill MG corner.
Curtain knew this and a tight line into the hairpin took that chance away from the CBR600RR rider, but Brookes - literally hanging off his bright red machine - wasn't settling for second in what is expected to be his only WSS outing of the season and threw himself around the outside of Curtain up to and over Luckey Heights, then kept the inside line into MG corner to take the lead.
That left just the long left handers to go and, despite a strong run out of the final turn, Curtain would cross the line just 0.025secs behind a jubilant Josh, who proceeded to show his delight with a series of impressive burnouts for the fans.
Meanwhile, van den Goorbergh duly claimed third to increase his championship lead to 11 over team-mate Foret. Parkes finished fourth, followed by Charpentier, Foret, Corradi, Neukirchner, Lanzi and Chambon.
Results - Phillip Island:
3. van den Goorbergh
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