McAMS Yamaha’s Josh Brookes went from outside the Showdown into title contention with a double Bennetts British Superbike win at Brands Hatch yesterday afternoon.
The 2015 champion fended off two challenges from Be Wiser Ducati pup Glenn Irwin to net 50 points and move from seventh to fourth, pushing injured reigning champion Shane Byrne outside the top six.
But it wasn’t a cruise for the Bringelly rider as Irwin was right on his heels for most of the day’s 40 laps.
“I listened to what Glenn said after race one and looked where I needed to improve. After leading for most of race one, I didn’t see anyone else’s speed or strategy or where their bike works,” said Brookes, speaking at the track.
“I knew there were areas I had to improve if I was going to keep him behind in race two, so I just set about trying to make no mistakes, push hard and there was a point where I started to edge a gap but at the end, I started to lose a bit of rear grip.
“It’s natural when you’re running that sort of pace. We were pushing fast laptimes all the way through and when you’re doing that, something is going to get worn, either you or the tyre or both. For the last two laps I thought I was in trouble but the tiny gap that I had was enough.
“I came into the last turn and I heard the Ducati thump behind me but I wasn’t ready to give it up. It is fantastic to get the double for Yamaha on the R1’s 20th anniversary.”