Over the course of a normal, pre-Showdown racing season, Josh Brookes would have won this year’s MCE British Superbike Championship purely down to the fact he finished every race and scored 27 more points than Tommy Hill, who would have been in second.
But the Showdown is here to stay so the Tyco Suzuki man’s season came down to the final race at Brands Hatch. Brookes was in second place all weekend but Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider Shane Byrne was just too strong for the Australian, who says there was nothing more he could do.
For Brookes, it must have felt like déjà vu as the last time he got close to winning the championship was back in 2010 where he finished in second behind HM Plant Honda team-mate Ryuichi Kiyonari. But the Australian says initially he was upset by the majority of his performances at Brand Hatch, but now it’s all over he’s no longer disappointed or angry with the final event of the 2012 season.
“Just after Saturday’s race and Sunday morning’s race, I was quite upset, but I could not have done more. But now it’s all over and I can be relaxed about it and I am happy. I am not happy not to have won the championship. Most of the races I finished I was on the podium, I am kind of thinking could I have done more, but I don’t think I could of done anything,” he said.
Byrne might have wanted the season to have been decided on the second race at Brands Hatch, but as Brookes finished in second on the podium it meant that the championship would have to be decided on race three. Brookes led for the majority of the race, but could remember quite clearly the moment Byrne began to close in on him as he moved up to second place.
“I knew it was Shakey because the pit board said plus zero, I had a gap then it closed up, I kind of assumed it would Shakey as he was the only one who could bridge that gap. Then I thought, ‘It couldn’t be Shakey as he should be careful of his championship, and then it had on the pit board that it was Shakey behind me and I womndered why he was taking so may risks?
“Then I thought, ‘Vrilliant I will keep going as hard as I can and if he makes a mistake and falls off and I carry on to win, the championship is mine, so happy days.’ But as it was he came past me and I had every thought in my head to try and take the race back to him and force an error, but at that stage of the race I used up every bit of my energy and tyre that was available and Shakey still had some more, so I wasn’t able to do anything and I had to watch him basically walk away with that race and the championship.
“I ride the bike to the best of my ability every time I’m on the track, and that I am satisfied with. I come here to race and the love of motorbikes and racing, the passion is there, that’s why I signed for next year because I’m happy to be doing what I’m doing.”