Josh Brookes delivered a masterful performance in the opening British Superbike Championship race of the weekend at Brands Hatch this afternoon to win and stake his claim on the Integro Triple Crown.
The race was declared wet, but with the potential of a drying track pole-sitter Scott Redding opted for an intermediate rear tyre and on lap one he dropped straight through the pack, and despite changing conditions during the race, the Donington Park triple race winner had to nurse his Be Wiser Ducati home in 22nd place.
Brookes was sitting eighth on the opening lap after he also had a steady start off the line, but at the front Dan Linfoot was leading Tommy Bridewell before the pair changed positions on the second lap as the Oxford Racing Ducati rider emerged ahead.
Bridewell and Linfoot were inseparable as the continued to edge an advantage but then Linfoot was ready to try and make a break, passing his Ducati rival into Paddock Hill Bend on lap 15 to reclaim the lead as Brookes continued to carve his way up the order.
Brookes had dispensed with the pack ahead of him and was closing down the leading pair and by lap 17 the 2015 champion had bridged a nine second gap from the halfway point of the race to tail Bridewell before making a move at Druids.
Brookes then had Linfoot in his sights with three laps remaining and a lap later he fired the Be Wiser Ducati ahead at Clearways to hit the front of the pack for the first time and then hold the advantage to the chequered flag. The win gives Brookes the first of the six race wins in the Integro Triple Crown and the chance to bag a potential £75,000 prize.
Linfoot became the eighth different podium finisher of the 2019 season to claim the first top three finish of the season for the Santander Salt TAG Yamaha team with Bridewell crossing the line third to move to the top of the championship standings.
Danny Buchan had been another rider to scythe his way through the pack to move up into the top five before making a move on Peter Hickman with four laps to go to claim fourth place with the Smiths Racing BMW rider completing the top five at the chequered flag.
The Tyco BMW pairing were battling for sixth place with Keith Farmer getting the better of his teammate Christian Iddon on the final lap with Jason O’Halloran dropping to eighth after starting the race in a potential podium position. The lone McAMS Yamaha rider had been running in third until the midpoint of the race, but he was forced to hold off the attack from Andrew Irwin on the leading Honda Racing Fireblade and Glenn Irwin on the Quattro Plant – JG Speedfit Kawasaki who completed the top ten.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Race 1 result:
- Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati)
- Dan Linfoot (Santander Salt TAG Yamaha) +1.736s
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Racing Ducati) +5.224s
- Danny Buchan (FS3-Racing Kawasaki) +6.305s
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +9.836s
- Keith Farmer (Tyco BMW) +16.521s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +17.150s
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +17.743s
- Andrew Irwin (Honda Racing) +17.934s
- Glenn Irwin (Quattro Plant – JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +22.406s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings after Brands Hatch Race 1:
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Racing Ducati) 125
- Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati) 115
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) 108
- Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati) 99
- Danny Buchan (FS3-Racing Kawasaki) 81
- Xavi Forés (Honda Racing) 72
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