There were mixed emotions in the Milwaukee Yamaha garage at the close of racing on Sunday evening at Thruxton as Josh Brookes strengthened his ‘Showdown’ claim with a double victory while Tommy Bridewell was relegated from the championship top six after a trying day.
|Winning success for Brookes following dry spell
Photo: Milwaukee Yamaha
Brookes consolidated a perfect day with another controlled ride in the shortened second outing, reduced to a 15 lap ‘sprint’ after Bridewell’s engine expired on the back straight. The Australian chose to bide his time while Byrne and Linfoot battled at the front but an incoming Kiyonari spurned him into action on lap five. Two laps later he had gone past the Japanese rider, Walker, Linfoot and Byrne in quick succession to lead the chasing pack home until the flag.
“I am certainly pleased with the double win and it is a great result for Milwaukee Yamaha,” he said after consolidating his ‘Showdown’ place, 82 points behind Byrne. “I am really enjoying this moment of being back on the top step of the podium after some rounds where we haven’t been, but I think sometimes you have to remember that racing Superbikes isn’t easy. I kept pushing as hard as I could where I was strong and riding through the areas I didn’t feel as good. I maintained good lap times in the first race and the gap just grew and grew. It has been exciting for me to win and I want to see if we can do the same at Oulton Park now.”
Bridewell on the other hand was left frustrated with a mechanical mishap that prevented him from finishing race two. Having shown strong pace at the close of Sunday’s opener, Bridewell recovered from a less than inspiring start to close in on Dan Linfoot in fourth, eventually settling for fifth. The Englishman was then running strongly in the second outing before a terminal engine fault forced him out of proceedings in a cloud of smoke that brought red flags out.
The non-score demoted Bridewell to seventh overall, four points outside the ‘Showdown’ places, but he believes he and his R1 have the pace to get his season back on track.
“In the first race I had wanted more than a fifth place but it was some points if you are looking at the positives of it,” he said. “In the second race I wanted to settle into a rhythm because I had a bit of a plan. I came out of Church and we had a problem with the bike and I knew it was over straight away. It was unfortunate, especially as we have worked so hard again this weekend, but I suppose the Thruxton demons continue to get me here! It is disappointing as I know we have the pace but now we just have to focus on Oulton Park and getting back where we need to be.”