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Brookes seizes the MCE BSB showdown initiative at Assen

Monday, September 21 2015

Josh Brookes pulled off a spectacular double victory in the opening round of the MCE British Superbike Championship Showdown at the TT Circuit Assen on Sunday to establish himself as the man-to-beat with just five races remaining in the season.

Milwaukee Yamaha's Brookes took a commanding win in the opening race of the weekend, comfortably finishing ahead of James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki), Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW), and Shane 'Shakey' Byrne (PBM Kawasaki) in an all-Showdown top-four. Laverty's team-mate Tommy Bridewell and Honda Racing's Dan Linfoot didn't fare so well though, finishing eighth and 14th respectively.

The second race was a much less simple affair, as the start was delayed twice due to unpredictable weather conditions. Once the race got underway, Linfoot made the most of the damp track to seize an early lead on wet tyres, however his advantage was eradicated on the fifth lap when Brookes, the first-placed rider on slick tyres, scythed past.

Brookes then engaged in an intense dice for the lead with Ellison with both men trading blows in a frenetic leading queue of riders which also included Luke Mossey, Richard Cooper, Chris Walker and Byrne. At one point, Ellison managed to extend his gap to what looked like a potentially race-winning margin, but Brookes hunted him down and made his decisive move for the lead just two laps from the end.

Mossey completed the podium behind the leading duo, with Byrne in fifth. Of the other Title Fighters, Laverty finished ninth and Linfoot cam home 22nd, whilst Bridewell retired.

Speaking after the second race, Brookes said: "It's not just the double that's good, I've done that a few times now, but to do it now at the most crucial point and with all the crazy things that have happened, especially last year there was a lot chaos for me that didn't go my way. This year too I've had plenty of situations thrown at me but together with myself and my team we have done the best we can and come out shiny the other end.

"It's really pleasing to have this lead over Shakey now; a lot of the racing I have done in the middle of the season had very little effect on the championship standings so for the points to matter this weekend makes a real difference.

"I took the holeshot and immediately felt like I was going too slow, everything felt slow motion and I was waiting for people to come past. Then I thought that I'd ride at my own pace unless people came past me, it was very difficult to gauge what speed to go at. As Dan came past, I saw he was on wet weather tyres and he got away quite quickly as would be expected.

"We've seen it many times this year that the depth of field is strong in BSB, any rider that comes past you, you can't just immediately get them back you have to work hard to do it. I found it difficult to get past straightaway but once I did I was able to work on my own rhythm and catch James up again.  I didn't mean for the pass to be that aggressive but I'm glad he's taken it in good light. I thought I would be able to make a cleaner move than that but his entry speed was much faster than I anticipated!

"I'm really happy to bring it home with all these different events going on! I enjoyed the race quite a bit and I hope it was enjoyable to watch!"

The MCE BSB Showdown continues at Silverstone on 2-4 October, with the season finale triple-header following just two weeks later on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit on 16-18 October.

Tickets for the MCE British Superbike Championship season finale at Brands Hatch are available online from £26 with free entry for under-13s. For more information please call 0843 453 9000 or click here