Oulton BSB: Win re-ignites Brookes’ title challenge

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Picture: Impact Images

Josh Brookes re-ignited his challenge for the 2020 Bennetts British Superbike Championship as he took the final race win of the weekend at Oulton Park ahead of VisionTrack Ducati team-mate Christian Iddon and the Rapid Fulfillment Kawasaki of Lee Jackson.

Pole man Brookes was quickest off the line and it was the Australian who led the field round at the end of the first lap from double race winner Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha), Iddon,, Jackson and team-mate Danny Buchan and Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) but the latter’s brother Andrew was an early retirement.

Third time around and Iddon moved by O’Halloran to take second and going into lap four, Brookes held a half second lead with Iddon, in turn, half a second clear of O’Halloran.

The front seven, which also included Bradley Ray, had opened up a near three-second gap over eighth placed Tarran Mackenzie, and by lap six the front three of Brookes, Iddon and O’Halloran were nose to tail once more with Jackson giving chase.

By half race distance, there were two clear groups, Brookes, Iddon, O’Halloran and Jackson and then a gap of 1.5s to Buchan, Glenn Irwin and Ray but it was Brookes who continually led despite the extreme pressure he was under, particularly from team-mate Iddon.

He was setting a ferocious pace and by lap 11, only Iddon and O’Halloran could go with him as Jackson found himself beginning to get detached from the group, dropping back to the 1’35’s whilst the front three remained in the 34’s.

However, the Kawasaki man responded and it was a leading quartet once more by the time they started their 14th lap with team-mate Buchan moving back up to fifth at Lodge at the expense of Irwin.

The turning point came at Hizzy’s on lap 16 when Iddon outbraked himself and ran wide and although he held on to second, Brookes’s lead went up to 0.8s as they started their penultimate lap.

The gap had crept up to more than a second as they started their final lap and Brookes duly came home for the win, 1.6s ahead of Iddon with Jackson snatching third from O’Halloran on the run to the line.

Buchan held off the challenge of Irwin to take fifth with Ray, Peter Hickman, Tarran Mackenzie and Luke Mossey completing the top ten.

The results mean Irwin still leads the Championship but only by two points now from O’Halloran with Brookes eight points further back in third and Iddon only two more points back in fourth.

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