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|10-04-2015, 05:20 PM||#1|
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Josh Brookes Doubles Down At Silverstone
Milwaukee Yamaha’s Josh Brookes took home the double win at Silverstone, reaffirming his top spot in the British Superbike Championship. The Australian’s performance in the second half of the season can be summarized in one word – dominant. Since round six at Brands Hatch Brookes has only lost once in 12 races; to championship rival Shane Byrne at Oulton Park, where the pair split wins.
That late season form has Brookes returning to Brands Hatch in two-weeks time for the season-finale tripleheader with a 47-points lead over PBM Kawasaki’s Byrne. Brookes is definitely in the driver’s seat in the championship, but he still has a fight on his hands and race one was not an easy win.
"At the start of race one I was trying to find a pace that I felt could last the race distance and then James [Ellison] came passed and I thought that maybe that was a good situation as I could let him do the work,” Brookes said. “Then when Shakey [Shane Byrne] came by me I sat calmly in third and kept an eye on them. I thought if I could stay smooth and fast and not make any mistakes then they shouldn't have any extra to give than I have, I felt we were on fairly equal terms.
"I was able to get past [them] and then the final laps were a real fight with myself, the bike, the tire and each corner – I was battling the elements in my own environment to keep it together. I had to concentrate and I am really pleased I bought it home.”
Race two was much easier for Brookes, he got into the lead and was able to run his own race to take home the double. As for Byrne, he was disappointed with coming short of the win, but the four-time British Superbike Champion is taking the points and looking forward to the battle at the finale.
“I dug in as deep as I could and I thought I might have a chance to win [race one], but second place was okay,” Byrne said. “Race two didn't go to plan and now we have a bit of a mountain to climb, but we've not given up just yet and will take it to Josh [Brookes] again at Brands Hatch in two weeks time."
RAF Reserves BMW’s Peter Hickman joined the pair on the podium in race one, while Tyco BMW’s Michael Laverty took the runner up spot to Brookes in race two and Honda Racing’s Dan Linfoot third.
It was mixed results for second-place qualifier John Hopkins who had high hopes of a good finish at a track he does well at. In race one Hopkins battled with the lead pack and was able to get past JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s James Ellison to cross the line in fourth – his best result with Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati squad this season. Unfortunately it all went pear shaped for the American in race two and despite a decent start, Hopkins was forced to retire early with a technical problem.
Fellow American James Rispoli came just short of his first win in British Supersport Championship. The Team Traction Control Yamaha rider was locked in a thrilling battle with Gearlink Kawasaki’s Glenn Irwin, but ultimately had to settle for second, his second podium of the weekend.
"The race was mega," said Rispoli. "I led most of it and I knew it was going to come down to a last lap battle. Me and Irwin both had the pace so I knew no one was going to get away. He passed me with two laps to go and I knew I had to line it up early and lead in the later half of lap to win. I tried everything I had to pass into Stow [corner] but ran wide. I am so pleased to have back-to-back podium!"
Profile Triumph’s Sam Hornsey joined the pair on the podium, scoring his best ever finish in the series.
It was also another good showing for “Team America” in the KTM RC 390 Cup World Finals, as the MotoAmerica riders improved in race two to take two podium spots – Braedon Ortt in second and Hayden Schultz third. Dutchman Dijm Ulrich also improved from race one’s second-place finish to top the podium in Sunday’s race. It also secured Ulrich the overall win in the inaugural World Final, which came with the first-place prize of a KTM RC 390 bike and coaching with a factory rider.
Second-place honors went to race one winner Sean Kelly, who also gets coaching from a factory rider and a KTM RC 390 for one season. Canadian Braedon Ortt took home third place and a KTM RC 390 for one season.
2015 Silverstone British Superbike
Race One Results
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