Posted: 24 Sep 2012
Brookes edges closer to the BSB title
The 2012 British Superbike Championship riders headed to Holland this weekend for the tenth round of the series at Assen – the first BSB event to be held on the continent. And, Shane “Shakey” Byrne made a superb return to racing following his recent injury to clinch the first race win at The Netherlands circuit. He now leads the series standings overall.
Although Michael Laverty took the holeshot from Jakub Smrz and Joshua Brookes, Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider Byrne displayed his strong desire to achieve podium honours, edging out a slight advantage on his fellow title contenders on lap two.
While Byrne maintained his position at the front of the pack, a battle of cat and mouse for second place ensued with Brookes and Laverty swapping and changing places. Laverty then snatched the lead on lap eight, but a determined Byrne fought back to reclaim his advantage.
However, Laverty struggled to maintain the pace and dropped down the field to seventh place, while Brookes clinched second and Alex Lowes completed the podium in third.
Race one result
1 Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
2 Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +4.731s
3 Alex Lowes (WFR Honda) +4.881s
4 Luca Scassa (Padgetts Honda) +9.327s
5 Noriyuki Haga (Swan Yamaha) +10.024s
6 Tommy Bridewell (Supersonic BMW) +11.026s
7 Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) +11.538s
8 James Westmoreland (WFR Honda) +17.160s
9 Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +23.137s
10. Robin Harms (Doodson Motorsport Honda) +23.292s
First race winner Byrne was looking to repeat his success in the second race of the day – but the result went down to the wire as Australian Brookes was also determined to taste the victory Champagne.
Byrne took the holeshot, leading Laverty and Noriyuki Haga off the grid. However, Brookes was hot on their heels, moving up the pack to take the lead on the penultimate lap. Once again a determined Byrne fought back, regaining the lead throughout the final lap, until Brookes made his move on the final corner – clinching the top step of the podium and propelling him to the top of the series standings with two rounds to go.
Race two result
1. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki)
2. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.246s
3. Alex Lowes (WFR Honda) +3.018s
4. Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) +3.346s
5. Tommy Bridewell (Supersonic BMW) +9.074s
6. Noriyuki Haga (Swan Yamaha) +9.140s
7. Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) +9.245s
8. James Westmoreland (WFR Honda) +17.311s
9. Robbin Harms (Doodson Motorsport Honda) +17.633s
10. Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +18.891s
2012 British Superbike Championship standings
1. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) 570
2. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 568
3. Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) 548
4. Alex Lowes (WFR Honda) 534
5. Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) 532