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BSB Brands finale: Brookes extends lead with race two win

VisonTrack Ducati’s Josh Brookes reasserted his authority on the 2020 Bennetts British Superbike Championship with a faultless display in the opening race of the day at Brands Hatch.

Brookes took the lead at the third corner on the opening lap and never looked back as title rivals Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) and Ducati team-mate Christian Iddon took second and third respectively.

It was the second McAMS Yamaha of Tarran Mackenzie who stole the holeshot going into Paddock Hill Bend but Brookes was in determined mood and stole second from O’Halloran at Druids and then took the lead a corner later at Graham Hill.


The Australian had a near second lead at the end of the lap with Mackenzie in second and Iddon third although the latter had a moment coming out of Druids which allowed O’Halloran to nose ahead briefly. Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) had had the worst start of the title contenders though and was back in 12th after two laps.

Brookes was setting a strong pace at the head of the field, lapping at 1’25.310s second time around and it looked as if Mackenzie was the only one who could go with him, Iddon and O’Halloran almost two seconds adrift after four laps.

Recognising the danger, O’Halloran moved up to third on lap five and although the gap to leader Brookes was 2.4s a lap later, Mackenzie was closing on the 2015 Champion after setting a lap of 1’25.167s, the gap between the two now less than half a second.

However, it all went wrong at the beginning of lap eight when he went down at Druids, his championship hopes disappearing with it.

That meant Brookes now had a 2.7s lead over O’Halloran after eight laps with Iddon now in third, the duo having pulled clear of Danny Buchan (Rapid Fulfillment Kawasaki) and Andrew Irwin (Honda Racing) who were disputing fourth. Glenn Irwin was still struggling though down in 11th.

After ten of the 20 laps, half race distance, O’Halloran had brought Brookes’ lead down to 2.2s but it stayed constant for the next four laps with Iddon now the same gap adrift of the Yamaha rider. Meanwhile, Andrew Irwin moved ahead of Buchan on lap 13 to take fourth.

Going into the final quarter of the race, Brookes held a 2.1s lead over O’Halloran with Iddon now some 4.5s further back in third and out of contention for the race win as he lost substantial ground to his team-mate in the title race.

O’Halloran ate into Brookes’s lead in the final five laps but it was only by a tenth here and there and Brookes duly took the chequered flag by a second to extend his championship lead to 12 points with Iddon taking third and some 18 points behind going into this afternoon’s final race.

The battle for fourth went all the way to the end and it was Andrew Irwin who came out on top with Lee Jackson, Luke Mossey and Buchan following him over the line in quick succession.


Peter Hickman (Global Robots BMW) equalled his best finish of the season in eighth with Gino Rea (Buildbase Suzuki) and Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Racing Products Ducati) taking ninth and tenth but 12th for Glenn Irwin spelt the end of his title aspirations.

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