Josh Brookes put on an imperious display at the seventh round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Thruxton to celebrate his second consecutive double victory, smashing the lap record to move to the top of the overall standings.
Brookes had set a blistering pace all weekend and in the races continued his domination by hitting the front of the pack in both races and maintained his position to score the maximum podium points and confirm his position in the Showdown.
The Milwaukee Yamaha rider had run under the Thruxton record to take his second pole start of the campaign and then hit the front in both races, breaking the nine year old lap record, to fully capitalise on the problems experienced by his arch-rival, the four time champion Shane Byrne.
Brookes was characteristically cool, staying ahead in a dramatic opening race which was red flagged when Richard Cooper’s bike blew up at Church. James Ellison crashed out and sustained a broken wrist, whilst Christian Iddon also tumbled from the Bennetts Suzuki.
Brookes resumed command on the re-start, taking the victory from Honda Racing’s Dan Linfoot and JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s James Westmoreland who enjoyed his first ever podium finish in MCE BSB.
Brookes was fired up for a repeat performance in race two and again took charge at the start while behind him there was drama and incident. John Hopkins, whose first race had ended with a problem with his Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati, crashed out of second at the Club chicane and Jack Kennedy fell at Campbell.
“We have always had confidence and believe that we can do it but you have to actually do it and we have done this weekend. After Brands Hatch everyone was definitely carrying some confidence and a good mood in the team and that spilled onto this weekend. It has been a good circuit for me, I had my first race win here in 2010 and I have had a double last year, so it has just been a good circuit for me in general. To come from a double win at Brands Hatch and have another double here is what we were searching for but to finally achieve it means we can shout about it and I am really pleased.
“In the second race particularly when the safety car came out I was a little bit annoyed shall I say as I had worked really hard to try and make a buffer where then I could ride more comfortably and then when I saw the Safety Car flag I thought ‘oh no this isn’t how I planned it’. As soon as the safety car was in I just put my head down and rode the fastest, smoothest lap I could. Unfortunately for Hopper, but fortunately for me his crash created a gap and I could control the rest of the race as I had a buffer that gave me that confidence.
“Obviously I need to thank the Milwaukee Yamaha team as they have put a superb bike under me this weekend and it actually felt better again in the second race, it’s surprising how you can keep stepping it up and improve again.
“It wasn’t until after the race I realised I’d achieved the lap record because on the dash it can sometimes differ to the real time and I didn’t have the record in my mind. For me it was about doing the best job possible to win the races. I’m really happy and it’s the cherry on top of a great weekend, especially as it’s stood for so many years.
“It’s a big achievement because in 2006 it was a big tyre war and Michelin and Dunlop were bringing special tyres to the races to try and have the advantage. So to get lap records on a tyre that is available to everyone means we have to give big respect to Pirelli and it shows how good the tyre is in BSB.
“To end the day with a crash doing a burn out celebrating was typical of my style – if someone is going to do it, it is going to be me so congratulations to me for that!”
Team Manager Mick Shanley said: “We got everything we could, pole position, lap record, two race wins, he has been faultless and rode fantastic all weekend and hopefully we can just keep this momentum going. I think that Adam did a great job as well standing in at such short notice, he had the pace for some real good results and I think he is happy to have ridden it just to get a bit of a different idea.”