Milwaukee Yamaha's Josh Brookes celebrated his first double win in the 2014 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Thruxton by holding off his arch title rivals and triple champions Shane 'Shakey' Byrne and Ryuichi Kiyonari with just 0.467s covering the top three.
The race started with Byrne making a flying start off the line to lead the pack from Dan Linfoot and Brookes, however after the initial scrapping between the contenders there was disappointment for Tommy Bridewell as he was forced to retire his Milwaukee Yamaha with a technical problem. His retirement left oil on the circuit and the race was red flagged to clear the line.
The race was soon restarted and again Byrne took the advantage on the opening lap from Linfoot, Chris Walker and Brookes. The Stalker is renowned to be one of the most difficult riders to pass but Brookes was soon on the case and he pulled a move out of the bag at Club on the second lap to move ahead.
Walker was back on the counter attack and he returned the move on Brookes a lap later, whilst at the front Linfoot had surged into the lead ahead of Byrne. The Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki rider's position was only for a brief spell though as the championship leader pounded ahead at Club on the same lap.
Byrne held his position at the front but Linfoot was then coming under fire from Walker who made an impressive move on the fifth lap at Village to move second on the lone Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki. However the pair were soon to be pushed back down the order as Brookes pulled a sensational move into Club a lap later into Club to move from fourth to second in one fell swoop.
Brookes then had Byrne in his sights and he dived ahead at Seagrave a few corners later to hit the front of the pack. Byrne and Linfoot were in close contention but Kiyonari was closing rapidly and on the eleventh lap he slip-streamed Linfoot on the run up Woodham Hill to move third. Brookes held the lead on the final lap from Byrne and Kiyonari and the pair were dicing for second but the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider emerged ahead to repeat the race one podium line up.
Linfoot claimed his best points haul of the season with another fourth place finish and behind Walker held off a charge from Jon Kirkham to finish fifth. Stuart Easton recovered from a tough qualifying yesterday to finish seventh ahead of the leading Tyco Suzuki of John Hopkins. Howie Mainwaring and Peter Hickman on the RAF Reserves Honda completed the top ten.