BSB Brands finale: Brookes crowned 2020 champion

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Picture: Impact Images

VisonTrack Ducati’s Josh Brookes won the final Bennetts British Superbike race of the year at Brands Hatch and with it took his second title.

Brookes was never headed in the last race despite the best efforts of McAMS Yamaha duo of Tarran Mackenzie and Jason O’Halloran as he took his second BSB big trophy.

The Bringelly rider made the perfect getaway off the line to lead into Paddock Hill Bend, Mackenzie and O’Halloran slotting into second and third, and his advantage at the end of the lap was almost half a second, O’Halloran giving chase.

Christian Iddon on the second VisionTrack Ducati was now up into third ahead of Andrew Irwin (Honda Racing) as Mackenzie dropped back to fifth with Danny Buchan (Rapid Fullfillment Kawasaki) giving chase in sixth.

The gap between first and second came down to a tenth of a second on the second lap with Iddon trying to close the deficit to O’Halloran, bringing Mackenzie and Irwin with him.

Indeed, Mackenzie moved up to third at Druids on lap three with Brookes increasing his lead back up to four tenths of a second, an advantage that almost doubled a lap later with a lap of 1’25.292s.

By lap seven, the front three of Brookes, O’Halloran and Mackenzie were bunching back together, just over half a second covering them, but Iddon appeared to be out of contention as he slipped to more than two seconds adrift.

Brookes was under extreme pressure from the Yamaha pairing as the gaps between them stayed constant but at half race distance they were as close as they’d been all race, only three tenths covering the trio as the race and season entered its final phase, Mackenzie also setting the fastest lap of the race.

Lap 13 saw the first major change as Mackenzie moved ahead of O’Halloran at Paddock Hill Bend and the young Scot immediately latched onto Brookes’ back wheel although he too, like his team-mate, found it no easy task to take the lead.

Brookes continued to maintain his slender advantage of two tenths of a second but a slide for Mackenzie coming out of Graham Hill on lap 17 gave him some additional breathing space, his advantage edging out to half a second with three laps to go.

Heading into the penultimate lap and the gap was almost a second and although Mackenzie brought it back slightly on the final lap, it wasn’t enough to stop Brookes from winning the race and the BSB crown.

O’Halloran took third to end his best ever BSB season in second overall and although Iddon’s season ended on a slightly damp squib, fourth place secured his third place in the end of season standings.

Andrew Irwin completed a good day in fifth ahead of Danny Buchan with Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) getting the verdict for seventh after a race long battle with Peter Hickman – taking eighth for the Global Robots/Smith Racing BMW team in their final race – Lee Jackson (Rapid Fulfillment Kawasaki) and Gino Rea (Buildbase Suzuki).

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