Josh Brookes scored his first victory of the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch this afternoon, holding off Glenn Irwin to celebrate at the Yamaha R1 20th Anniversary event in style on the Grand Prix circuit.
Brookes had launched off the front row of the grid to hit the front of the pack as they streamed through Paddock Hill Bend for the first time ahead of Irwin and Tarran Mackenzie. Instantly Brookes and Irwin were dicing for the leading position but by the start of the second lap the Be Wiser Ducati rider had the edge.
Christian Iddon was moving through the order and soon the freight train of riders at the front had turned into Brookes, Irwin, Iddon, Leon Haslam and Mackenzie. Iddon had moved into second with a move at Druids on lap four.
Irwin was instantly on the attack and reclaimed the position from his Tyco BMW rival. Dan Linfoot’s tough weekend continued as the Honda Racing rider crashed out at Westfield on the sixth lap and he will sit out race two with a suspected fractured scaphoid.
At the front the lead group of five has started to edge ahead of the chasing pack with Brookes holding off Glenn Irwin, Iddon, Mackenzie and Haslam. The second McAMS Yamaha was on a charge as Mackenzie moved up the order and into third, but it was a disaster for the Superbike rookie as he crashed out on the penultimate lap from a potential first Bennetts BSB podium finish.
Irwin was pushing to attack for the lead on the opening lap but it wasn’t enough and Brookes had a 0.227s edge at the finish line with Haslam promoted to third after Mackenzie’s crash. Jake Dixon had carved his way back up the order to snatch fourth place from Iddon on the final lap with Peter Hickman able to hold off the challenge from Richard Cooper in seventh place.
Knockhill double podium finisher Danny Buchan was eighth ahead of Andrew Irwin and Michael Laverty who completed the top ten.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Race 1 result:
Josh Brookes (McAMS Yamaha)
Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +0.227s
Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +3.114s
Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) +7.937s
Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +8.830s
Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +13.285s
Richard Cooper (Buildbase Suzuki) +14.192s
Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +14.591s
Andrew Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +16.673s
Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) +16.862s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings after Brands Hatch Race 1:
Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 226
Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) 149
Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) 125
Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) 115
Josh Brookes (McAMS Yamaha) 105
Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) 103
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