BSB: Brookes smashes Assen

The Milwaukee Yamaha squad will be celebrating all the way back to England after not only silencing critics on the capabilities of the new R1 Yamaha throughout this season, as well as number one rider Josh Brookes extending his championship lead over title rival, Shane Byrne.

Brookes leads the field this weekend

Photo: MCE BSB

It was all to play for going into the opening round of the Showdown and after a two-way scrap for the win last-time out at Oulton Park between Shakey Byrne and Josh Brookes, it set the scene for a tough competition between Yamaha and Kawasaki this weekend. Brookes excelled in the tricky conditions in Assen by sealing his fourth double win of the season while Byrne was unusually left behind, a bit short off the pace and off the podium. James Ellison has made a speedy recovery from his broken wrist and was the top Kawasaki by sealing two rostrum finishes.

Race Reports

Race One:
Brookes led the pack off pole position followed by Ellison and Byrne with John Hopkins tucked in behind. After a Byrne mistake going into the Chicane allowed Hopkins to move into third, where they both spent a lap jostling for third position. The pair soon had Michael Laverty for company and with two decisive moves on lap 13 Laverty stole the third position and sealed his first podium of the season. By this time Brookes had broken away at the front from Ellison in second and Byrne and Hopkins continued to scrap but for fourth place and it was Byrne who crossed the finishing line in fourth.

Race Two:
The skies opened before race two and the race finally got underway on the third attempt with a reduced number of laps.  The majority of teams choose the slick tyres to race on, so on a damp track it was steady away when the lights went out. Brookes led off the line but Dan Linfoot, who took a gamble, forced his way to the front on full wets hoping for more rain, he built up quite a margin leaving the others trailing behind.  As the race progressed and the track dried up allowing the slicks to come into play. Linfoot dropped off the pace and Brookes regained the lead. On lap 5 Luke Mossey pulled off a daring move and past three riders in one to move into second place. Then Mossey went one further and overtook Brookes to lead the race. Over the next 5 laps riders yo-yoed in and out of the lead until Ellison managed to extend the gap at the front. With three laps to go Ellison went into a corner too hot which allowed Brookes to catch him and on lap 13 with a quick mover Brookes launched past the Kawaski. On the final lap Ellison tried to retaliate but couldn’t quite get close enough to make a move stick, so it Brookes who reached the line first. Mossey grabbed the last podium place in front of Richard Cooper and Byrne finished fifth.


Race One
1. Josh Brookes
2. James Ellison
3. Michael Laverty
4. Shane Byrne
5. John Hopkins
6. Richard Cooper
7. Christian Iddon
8. Tommy Bridewell
9. Peter Hickman
10. Danny Buchan

Race Two
1. Josh Brookes
2. James Ellison
3. Luke Mossey
4. Richard Cooper
5. Shane Byrne
6. Christian Iddon
7. Jack Kennedy
8. Chris Walker
9. Michael Laverty
10. Jakub Smrz

Riders Reactions
Brookes is ecstatic to be leading the championship at such a crucial stage in the season. “It’s not just the double that’s good, I’ve done that a few times now, but to do it now at the most crucial point and with all the crazy things that have happened, especially last year there was a lot chaos for me that didn’t go my way. It’s really pleasing to have this lead over Shakey now; a lot of the racing I have done in the middle of the season had very little effect on the championship standings so for the points to matter this weekend makes a real difference. I took the holeshot in race two and immediately felt like I was going too slow, everything felt slow motion and I was waiting for people to come past. As Dan came past, I saw he was on wet weather tyres and he got away quite quickly as would be expected. We’ve seen it many times this year that the depth of field is strong in BSB, any rider that comes past you, you can’t just immediately get them back you have to work hard to do it.  I didn’t mean for the pass [on Ellison] to be that aggressive but I’m glad he’s taken it in good light. I thought I would be able to make a cleaner move than that but his entry speed was much faster than I anticipated! I’m really happy to bring it home with all these different events going on! I enjoyed the race quite a bit and I hope it was enjoyable to watch!”

Ellison is pleased to be back on the podium at a vital stage of the championship. “We needed a good start because we lost so much during the season through injury. We needed to come back and start winning to have any chance of the title. Brookes has put another ten points into it which makes it more and more difficult but we certainly won’t be giving up until the last lap at Brands Hatch. We clawed some more points back on Shakey as well, which is good, there are three of us in the championship, not just Josh. So it feels like job done.”

Ellison discussed Brookes race winning overtake manoeuvre.“Sure enough I saw a big number 25 come past me so it pushed me wide. It was totally fair move, it was hard but fair. Once he passed me I had one last dig to push as hard as I could but I just kept missing apexes. I was pushing to the limit on the last lap trying to line up a move at the chicane. But full credit to him, he has controlled both races today and hats off to him.”

BSB rookie Luke Mossey claimed his second podium of the season in race two. “I didn’t enjoy the start of that race that’s for sure! I didn’t get the best of starts and where the sun was shining on the track it looked slippery and it was hard to decide if it was wet or dry. We have nothing to lose this year, it’s my first season in BSB and so we took our chances. I did a few hairy moves where I should have probably closed my eyes but in the end it was brilliant for us.  To get back on the podium after the disappointment of race one and the crash we had in qualifying yesterday is great for me and the team. Hopefully we can keep this momentum going and stay strong for the final two rounds.”

Championship Standings

1 Josh Brookes Milwaukee Yamaha 603
2 Shane Byrne PBM Kawasaki 575
3 James Ellison JG Speedfit Kawasaki 562
4 Michael Laverty Tyco BMW 523
5 Tommy Bridewell Tyco BMW 515
6 Dan Linfoot Honda Racing 509
7 Richard Coope rBuildbase BMW 142
8 Stuart Easton PBM Kawasaki 139
9 Luke Mossey Quattro Plant Kawasaki 134
10 Peter Hickman RAF Reserves BMW 113


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