Tyco Suzuki's Josh Brookes has taken the lead in the British Superbike Championship after two podium finishes at today's fourth round at Snetterton in Norfolk.
The consistent Aussie has taken six podiums from the opening eight races of the year putting him on 124 points at the top of the table; one ahead of Tommy Hill with Shane Byrne third on 108. Brookes and Byrne have eight podium credits apiece with Hill currently on 12.
Brookes battled with Michael Laverty at the head of proceedings in the early lap of race one in blistering hot conditions, but having used the best of his tyre, the Australian had to eventually settled for a solid third behind race winner Tommy Hill, with Laverty second.
A few set-up changes for race two saw Brookes settle in slowly, and although he remained in third place for the duration of the 16-lap encounter, he did come strong at the end.
"The team did a great job this weekend and even though we had a few set-up issues to work around to get the best of the rear Pirelli in the hot conditions, if third is our worst result on days like this I'll be very happy. It's more podium credits, which at this stage is nearly more important until we reach the cut off point, but it's nice for our sponsors to see themselves at the top of the Championship table and proves the overall package of the new GSX-R1000 is working really well."
Alastair Seeley was forced to bounce back from a frighteningly high-speed crash in Friday's second qualifying session, which saw extensive damage to his GSX-R1000 after it went on fire. His crew did a great job rebuilding the bike overnight, but lady luck didn't play her part in return for the effort on race day.
In race one Seeley took avoiding action of an incident on lap one, which forced him to fight back from 27th position at the end of the opening lap - eventually taking the chequered flag in 16th and just outside the points. In the second race he started from row six, but having fought through the pack and into the points by mid distance, he then suffered tyre problems and slipped just outside the points - again in 16th position.
"I got punted off in the first race and started to pick a few off but struggled a bit with a gear selection problem in the closing laps. In the second race I found a good rhythm and again started to make up places, but was having grip issues front and rear and dropped back out of the points. It's been a busy couple of weeks with the North West 200 and now Snetterton so I'm off on holiday to recharge the batteries for Knockhill."
Philip Neill - Team Manager:
"As much as podium credits are the most important thing to be racking up at this stage, it is still very nice for Suzuki, our title sponsor Tyco, and all our associated partners to be leading the Championship. Josh and his team did a great job today and their consistency and belief in each other has brought them reward at almost every round so far this year. Josh has really bedded in well this season and is a more mature and settled looking rider. Alastair's side of the garage should also be given credit, for first of all getting him a bike to ride after the crash on Friday. Unfortunately for Alastair his confidence took a bit of a knock, which is only to be expected, and a little bad luck and a few set-up issues hampered his chances this weekend. I'm confident he'll come back strong at Knockhill."
Race 1 Result:
1. Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) 2. Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) +1.234s 3. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +6.847s 4. Noriyuki Haga (Swan Yamaha) +10.304s 5. Alex Lowes (WFR Honda) +10.333s 6. Tommy Bridewell (Supersonic BMW) +16.360s 7. Chris Walker (Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki) +20.503s 8. Ian Lowry (Padgetts Honda) +20.524s 9. Patric Muff (Supersonic BMW) +20.692s 10. Barry Burrell (Buildbase BMW) +21.674s
Race 2 Result:
1. Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) 2. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +1.336s 3. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +1.792s 4. Ian Lowry (Padgetts Honda) +5.359s 5. Graeme Gowland (WFR Honda) +8.974s 6. Alex Lowes (WFR Honda) +9.223s 7. Chris Walker (Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki) +12.231s 8. Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +13.477s 9. James Westmoreland (WFR Honda) +16.957s 10. Patric Muff (Supersonic BMW) +20.539s