BSB: Josh Brookes secures his second title with victory in race three at Brands Hatch

Josh Brookes clinched his second Bennetts British Superbike Championship crown after taking his second win of the day at Brands Hatch. 

The Australian withstood immense pressure from his main title rival Jason O’Halloran and Tarran Mackenzie to take his 19th victory around the Grand Prix circuit at Brands. His performance in both of Sunday’s races was the perfect response after seeing his lead cut to seven points on Saturday. 

The story at Brands

Brookes ends the year with a 21-point advantage over O’Halloran in the standings, with five race wins and a further five podiums to his name. His first BSB crown came in 2015, whilst riding for the Milwaukee Yamaha team. Brookes’ latest championship success also means that the Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM) team have successfully defended their crown – taking them to an astonishing total of eight. 

Mackenzie crossed the line in second to take his second podium of the weekend and fifth in the overall standings. O’Halloran completed the podium and ends the year as runner-up. It’s the McAMS Yamaha rider’s most successful season in BSB. 

Christian Iddon wrapped up third spot in the overall standings by ending race three in fourth. Iddon was simply unable to match the pace set by his VisionTrack Ducati teammate and the Yamaha riders ahead of him. Like O’Halloran, 2020 has been Iddon’s best to date. 

Andrew Irwin came out on top in an entertaining battle with Danny Buchan to end the race in fifth spot. Tommy Bridewell was seventh ahead of Peter Hickman in eighth. Hickman equalled his best result of the year in the Smiths Racing team’s final race. Lee Jackson and Gino Rea completed the top 10. 

Glenn Irwin’s difficult day continued, with the former championship leader crossing the line in 11th. The Honda Racing UK rider ends the year fourth overall. 

Elsewhere, Graeme Irwin suffered another crash in the opening stages of the race, whilst Jack Kennedy and Kyle Ryde both retired with bike issues. Brian McCormack also retired from the season finale. 

The 2020 BSB season is now over, however the 2021 provisional calendar has now been released. At things stand, the opening race meeting of the year will take place at Oulton Park on May 1-3.

BSB Brands Hatch - Race Three Result

BSB: Josh Brookes dominates race two at Brands Hatch to extend championship lead

First published: 17 October 2020 by Josh Close

Josh Brookes Brands Race Two

Josh Brookes dominated the second Bennetts British Superbike race of the weekend at Brands Hatch to extend his advantage in the standings. 

With only one race remaining Brookes now holds a 12-point lead over fellow Australian Jason O’Halloran. Brookes made a strong start and went from third to first by the time he reached Graham Hill Bend. 

The VisionTrack Ducati then pulled away from the chasing pack and controlled the pace at the front. O’Halloran, who lost ground in the early stages after a hard battle with Christian Iddon, closed the gap towards the end of the race but it was too late. 

Brookes crossed the line to take his 18th victory around the Brands Hatch GP circuit and now has a great chance of becoming a two-time BSB champion. O’Halloran does still have a chance of taking the crown, as does Iddon who completed the podium. Iddon is now 18 points behind his Ducati teammate. 

Behind the leading trio there was a fantastic battle between Andrew Irwin, Lee Jackson, Luke Mossey and Danny Buchan. After exchanging positions multiple times throughout the race, Irwin managed to lead the quartet over the line in fourth. Jackson was fifth, ahead of Mossey and Buchan.

Peter Hickman got the better of Gino Rea for eighth spot, with Tommy Bridewell completing the top 10 for Oxford Products Racing Ducati. 

Glenn Irwin’s championship hopes came to an end after making some setup changes ahead of this race. The Honda Racing UK rider struggled from the get-go and was unable to get comfortable on his Fireblade. 

Tarran Mackenzie’s title chances are also officially over after he crashed out from second. The McAMS Yamaha rider was beginning to close down Brookes when he fell at Druids. 

Joe Francis also crashed at Druids, whilst Graeme Irwin suffered a massive highside at Surtees. Hector Barbera was another crasher on the Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW, whilst debutant Lachlan Epis also highsided on the opening lap. Bradley Ray retired with a bike problem. 

The third and final BSB race of the weekend, and year, is due to begin at 16:05 this afternoon (October 18).

BSB: Jason O’Halloran wins a sensational opening race at Brands Hatch

First published: 17 October 2020 by Josh Close

Jason O'Halloran Race One Brands

Jason O’Halloran has closed the gap to Josh Brookes to just seven points after winning a sensational opening Bennetts British Superbike race at Brands Hatch.

The top four in standings battled each other hard throughout the race with O’Halloran pulling the pin with a couple of laps remaining. The Australian was able to pull clear, whilst Christian Iddon and Tarran Mackenzie exchanged positions behind him. O’Halloran also set the fastest lap of the race on the penultimate lap – a 1:25.770 – to ensure that he’ll start race two from pole position.

The story so far

Iddon would eventually manage to hold off Mackenzie to secure second and he is only nine points behind Brookes as well. Mackenzie completed the podium after battling back from ninth on the grid.

Brookes crossed the line in fourth after making a vital move on Glenn Irwin in the closing stages. Danny Buchan also forced his way by Irwin to secure fifth spot. Irwin finished sixth but had led proceedings in the opening few laps after a superb start from seventh on the grid saw him move up into second. The Honda Racing UK rider is now 21 points behind in the title fight. 

Andrew Irwin finished seventh ahead of Lee Jackson and Tommy Bridewell. Gino Rea completed the top 10 ahead of Luke Mossey. Both riders started on the second row but were unable to match the pace set by the leaders. 

Bradley Ray’s race came to a premature end when an issue with his SYNETIQ BMW forced him to retire from fifth spot. Graeme Irwin also returned to the pits with a bike problem. 

The second race of the weekend is due to begin at 12:45 tomorrow (October 17).

Brands Hatch BSB - Race One Result

BSB: Josh Brookes pips Jason O’Halloran to pole at Brands Hatch

First published: 17 October 2020 by Josh Close

Josh Brookes Brands Pole

Championship leader Josh Brookes has put himself in the perfect position for race one at Donington Park by qualifying on pole. 

The Australian, who has a phenomenal record at Brands Hatch, was the only rider to drop into the 1:24s with his lap-time of 1:24.983. Brookes completed more laps than anybody else during the session, lapping the circuit 15 times. 

Jason O’Halloran will line-up alongside his fellow Australian in second spot. The McAMS Yamaha rider topped FP1 yesterday morning before sitting out this morning’s damp FP2 session

Christian Iddon completed the front row on the second VisionTrack Ducati, making it three title contenders on row one. The top three were covered by 0.787s. 

Bradley Ray’s strong form continued at his home circuit in fourth spot, leading Luke Mossey and Gino Rea on the second row. Glenn and Andrew Irwin were seventh and eighth respectively, making it five manufacturers inside the top eight. 

Tarran Mackenzie battled to ninth place on the grid after a difficult weekend so far. Mackenzie’s bike was heavily damaged yesterday when he fell at Stirlings, and he also missed FP2 this morning. At the start of qualifying Mackenzie was forced to return to the pits with an issue, before eventually getting back up to speed. 

Jack Kennedy completed the top 10 ahead of Kyle Ryde and Peter Hickman on the Global Robots BMW. Hickman was as high as fifth at one stage and will be hoping to finish the year on a high for the outgoing Smiths Racing team

Rapid Fulfillment Kawasaki duo Lee Jackson and Danny Buchan qualified 13th and 14th, ahead of Tommy Bridewell on the Oxford Products Ducati. 

Ryan Vickers went down at Surtees in the early stages and looked to be in a lot of discomfort afterwards. Vickers was lucky not to be hit by his Kawasaki, which was launched into the air. 

The opening race of the weekend is scheduled to begin at 16:15 this afternoon (October 17).

Brands Hatch BSB - Qualifying Times

BSB: Danny Buchan tops a damp free practice two session at Brands Hatch

First published: 17 October 2020 by Josh Close

Danny Buchan FP2 Brands Hatch

Danny Buchan was the fastest rider in this morning’s free practice two session at Brands Hatch.

The Rapid Fulfillment Kawasaki rider posted a fastest lap-time of 1:35.890 in the closing stages. Buchan was the only rider to dip into the 1:35s during a tricky session. The cold and damp conditions meant that only 16 riders completed flying laps, with others – including championship contenders Glenn Irwin, Jason O’Halloran, Christian Iddon and Tarran Mackenzie – opting to remain in the pits.

Andrew Irwin moved up to second with his final flying lap of the session, demoting Kyle Ryde to third. The top three were covered by 0.462 this morning. 

Championship leader Josh Brookes was fourth overall but did lead the session at one stage. Gino Rea completed the top five on his Buildbase Suzuki, ahead of Peter Hickman and Joe Francis. 

Lee Jackson was eighth ahead of the RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki duo of Ryan Vickers and Jack Kennedy. Tommy Bridewell was 11th, whilst Taylor Mackenzie, Graeme Irwin, Josh Owens, Lachlan Epis and Brian McCormack completed the order. Epis – making his debut this weekend with the NP Motorcycles BMW team – crashed alongside the Cooper Straight. 

Today’s qualifying session (October 17) is due to begin at 13:15, followed by the opening BSB race of the weekend at 16:15.

BSB: Jason O’Halloran tops the opening free practice session at Brands Hatch

First published: 16 October 2020 by Josh Close

Jason O'Halloran FP2 Brands Hatch

Jason O’Halloran made the perfect start to the Bennetts British Superbike weekend at Brands Hatch by topping the opening free practice session.

The title contender, currently 19 points behind Josh Brookes, led the way with a 1:26.113. That was enough to beat Bradley Ray on the SYNETIQ BMW by 0.076s. It’s the perfect way for Ray to start his home round after making his return from injury. 

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Glenn Irwin completed the top three for Honda Racing UK, with the new Fireblade making its first appearance at this circuit. Luke Mossey made it two BMWs inside the top four on his Rich Energy OMG Racing machine. 

Championship leader Josh Brookes completed the top five for VisionTrack Ducati, just ahead of teammate and title rival Christian Iddon. Andrew Irwin and Tommy Bridewell were seventh and eighth respectively, with Héctor Barberá and Danny Buchan rounding out the top 10. 

It wasn’t such a good day for the fifth and final title contender Tarran Mackenzie. The McAMS Yamaha rider crashed out at Stirlings early on and missed the majority of the session. The session was also red flagged momentarily when Matt Truelove, debuting for the Bike Devil Racing team, crashed at the same corner as Mackenzie. 

Free practice two is scheduled to begin at 09:40 tomorrow morning (October 16), with qualifying due to start at 13:15. That will be followed by the opening race of the weekend at 16:15.