Brands Hatch BSB: Brookes storms to pole in the rain

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Josh Brookes will start this afternoon's first MCE British Superbike race of the weekend from pole, his first one of the season, after a damp session allowed him to negate the problems that have been plaguing his Tyco Suzuki.

Brookes held off the title contenders of Shane Byrne and Alex Lowes, who finished second and third receptively, although his 1'37 lap left him almost half a second head of Byrne in the rain.

Josh Waters was a surprise fourth, finding his form on the Halsall Kawasaki, whose other rider Lee Costello was an impressive sixth, with only Karl Harris separating the Bolton-based bikes.

However, the session was a disaster for the Milwaukee Yamaha team, with Tommy Bridewell in 14th and a clearly disgruntled James Ellison in 16th.

Afterwards Brookes said that the wet conditions meant that the precise setup needed in the dry were negated, allowing him to ride around the chatter that has ended his title aspirations over the past number of rounds.

"Our dry setting is completely null and void today. In conditions like today, you use the tyres and the throttle. All the other stuff doesn't matter. You could put any springs in there - you could have a piece of timber in the front forks and it wouldn't make much difference. You literally just ride on the feeling from the rubber."

With Lowes and Byrne contending for the title and only with themselves to beat, Brookes will start the race as the favourite, if he can utilise his pole position to escape the other's battle.

The triple header weekend will get underway this afternoon, with the first race of the weekend at 1540 today (Saturday), followed by tomorrow's two.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer