Brookes tops Cadwell BSB times
Josh Brookes set the pace in opening free practice for the Holiday Monday ninth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at the Lincolnshire circuit.
The HM Plant Honda-mounted Aussie, refreshed from a break back home with his family, is aiming to take the lead in the title stakes and was half a second faster than the rest, who were led by MSS Colchester Kawasaki rider Simon Andrews.
“I want two good races so I can get back to the top of the standings,” said Brookes.
“Going back home for a holiday always sparks me up.” That was underlined as he powered in a lap of 1m 27.945secs, an average speed of 89.23mph.
Andrews surprised the front-runners in the title chase with his consistent speed across the two sessions, topping the first leaderboard, and in each he was marginally faster than the series leading, former two times British champion, Ryuichi Kiyonari, who like his team-mate Brookes was a winner at Cadwell Park in the fourth round.
Kiyonari’s best lap came in 1m 28.607secs, just 0.018secs up on the rider whom he leads by seven points in the standings,Tommy Hill, aboard the Worx Crescent Suzuki. Brookes goes into the races three points down on Hill.
Michael Rutter was fifth fastest, with a lap in 1m 28.693secs on the RidersMotorcycles.com Ducati, some 0.277secs up on Gary Mason aboard the second MSS Colchester Kawasaki with Yukio Kagayama easing his Worx Suzuki into seventh place at the expense of Relentless Suzuki’s Michael Laverty.
These races come at a crucial time in the championship, with the top six in the standings qualifying for the “Showdown” over the final seven races of the season. Already, Kiyonari, Hill, Brookes, Rutter and Michael Laverty are “title-fighters,” with three riders scrapping for the one remaining place.
They face an intense duel for supremacy. Stuart Easton, aboard the Swan Honda, was the fastest of them with a lap in 1m 29.306secs, but, the Scot knows that he needs to take race wins to have a realistic chance of making the cut.
John Laverty riding Buildbase Kawasaki, was just down on Easton, 1m 29.602secs while Alastair Seeley, the rider currently occupying the sixth place in the points standings, lapped in 1m 29.867secs.
Top ten free practice times
J Brookes (HM Plant Honda) 1m 27.945s
S Andrews (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) 1m 28.425s
R Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) 1m 28.607s
T Hill (Worx Crescent Suzuki) 1m 28.625s
M Rutter (RidersMotorcycles.com Ducati) 1m 28.693s
G Mason (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) 1m 28.774s
Y Kagayama (Worx Crescent Suzuki) 1m 28.983s
M Laverty (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) 1m 29.140s
S Easton (Swan Honda) 1m 29.306s
J Laverty (Buildbase Kawasaki) 1m 29.602s