BSB Brands Hatch: Brookes claims first win of the season
Josh Brookes secured his first win of the season for Relentless Suzuki by TAS at Brands Hatch, benefitting from the variable weather conditions that led to several championship contenders struggling with their tyre choices.
Brookes managed a strong start, moving up from the fourth row to fourth place, whilst Kawasaki WSB rider Joan Lascorz was battling with John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki) and Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) for the lead. Lascorz was relegated to second by Byrne on lap two, whilst Brookes was moving up, passing Hopkins to challenge for second.
Lascorz dropped back, his tyre choice not working with the drying track, and eventually pulled in. Team mates Byrne and Kiyonari soon followed suit, pitting to change to slicks, as Brookes took the lead.
Gary Mason (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) had been scathing his way through the field and eventually took second place from Hopkins who was battling with his intermediate tyre choice.
Swan Yamaha's Tommy Hill pitted, whilst Brookes stretched his lead. Michael Rutter (Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati), running on slicks passed Chris Walker (Pr1mo Racing Kawasaki) with his sights set on Mason who became embroiled with Byrne, who was a lap down following his tyre change.
Rutter took second place, relegating Mason to third. Hopkins finished in fourth place with Chris Walker close behind, taking his best result of the year in fifth.
James Westmoreland stole sixth from Gowland, whilst Michael Laverty finished in eighth, in front of Jon Kirkham and Glen Richards.
Byrne and Kiyonari finished in sixteenth and seventeenth respectively, whilst Broc Parkes and Tommy Hill ended the race in eighteenth and nineteenth.
1. Josh Brookes (Relentless Suzuki by TAS)
2. Michael Rutter (Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati) +2.072s
3. Gary Mason (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +2.322s
4. John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki) +6.022s
5. Chris Walker (Pr1mo Racing Kawasaki) +8.111s
6. James Westmoreland (Motorpoint Yamaha) +10.783s
7. Graeme Gowland (WFR Honda) +11.626s
8. Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) +18.849s
9. Jon Kirkham (Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki) +22.729s
10. Glen Richards (WFR Honda) +26.227s