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|10-18-2015, 10:50 AM||#1|
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Brookes crowned 2015 British Superbike Champion
The first Australian to win the Championship title since Bayliss in 1999
AUSTRALIAN Josh Brookes has been crowned as the 2015 British Superbike Champion after winning the opening race at the final round of the season at Brands Hatch.
Brooke has become the first Australian since Troy Bayliss in 1999 to win the British Superbike Championship but it hasn’t been easy after a race-long battle with Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne.
Speaking about his new title, Brookes said: "It's amazing. For me I feel like that kid that grew up in Bringelly, a country town west of Sydney, and went to Bringelly Public School, and rode a dirt bike around in a field, and did it for fun, and then one day it was a race, and another race, and then it turned into a career.
“To be sat here next to Shakey and John Hopkins and be taking the British Championship is something that people have said over the years you'd never do and never get close to. I've always had some unknown desire since young age to pursue motorbikes as a career, so it's not something I can put in words, but it's something I feel and it feels great.
"Early this year I went to the German Championship, rode the IDM and during the race, I ended up third, I was in a battle with some other guys and I just thought, this is easy compared to racing against Shakey Byrne,” explained Brookes.
“When you race against a guy like this week in week out, it just toughens you up and it really is a challenge and every time you think that you've got an advantage, he puts something into the mix that makes you eat your words. I wasn't at all surprised to see him come past.”
The 32-year-old has dominated particularly in the second half of the season to take 12 victories whilst only finishing off the podium twice all season.
“At the start of the race I did some good laps which on the dash looked like pretty good lap times," said Brookes after race one at Brands Hatch.
"I could still hear this bike signing in my ears - it was Shakey right behind - and one lap he just sprung out from what seemed like nowhere and got past me. I tried a bunch of times to get back by, but I just didn't seem to have the speed or the form in the early part of the race to keep that position and he kept fighting back, which again is what you would completely expect from Shakey.
"By the mid part of the race, I felt like I could maintain the speed and get into a rhythm where I felt like I had an advantage, and I thought, I've got to pass, put a hard lap in, and try and make a gap and then keep doing strong laps - that's the only way to fight him off. It sounds like he's a dragon or something! Once I got in front I really tried hard, I risked a lot, but I gained a lot, so I'm really pleased."
Over the past year, the Milwaukee Yamaha rider has been able to adapt to his new YZF-R1 to take double victory weekends, Assen and Silverstone, but to win six consecutive races a Brands Hatch, Thruxton and Cadwell Park.
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