Josh Brookes has secured his first win of the 2017 MCE British Superbike championship for Anvil Hire Yamaha in the Thruxton opener.
The 2015 BSB champion got through a lengthy safety car spell after Billy McConnell suffered a nasty fall on lap two which sent his bike into flames to carve past pole-sitter Jake Dixon and fellow front-runner starter Peter Hickman to storm to a first win since clinching his title in the series two years ago.
The victory marks TAG Racing-run Anvil Hire Yamaha’s first win in BSB, as well as Yamaha’s first win of the year, which sparked emotional scenes for the team as Brookes staked his claim as a title contender in 2017.
With Brookes looking comfortable in third, he saw Hickman and Dixon tussle for the lead before making his charge over the final four laps. On lap 14 Brookes got past Dixon on the inside at Club corner and set about Hickman for the lead.
Half a lap later Hickman ran wide around Noble corner which allowed Brookes to grab the initiative before bolting off for a first win since the final round of the 2015 BSB season.
Despite missing out on a potential victory Hickman held on for a maiden BSB podium of 2017 on the Smiths Racing BMW to strengthen his claim for a Showdown spot with Dixon also strengthening his chances with the final podium spot.
BSB championship leader Shane Byrne narrowly missed out on getting involved in the podium fight and had to settle for fourth place on the Be Wiser Ducati but comfortably clear of Christian Iddon on the Tyco BMW.
Jason O’Halloran led the Honda Racing charge in sixth place ahead of JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam who has become the team’s sole rider after Luke Mossey was ruled out of the weekend with injury.
Moto Rapido Ducati’s John Hopkins held off Buildbase Suzuki’s Bradley Ray for eighth place as Bennetts Suzuki’s Sylvain Guintoli completed the top ten finishers.
Full BSB Thruxton race one results:
1. Josh Brookes AUS Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha YZF-R1 18 laps, 24m 56.104s
2. Peter Hickman GBR Smiths Racing BMW S1000RR +1.026s
3. Jake Dixon GBR RAF Reserves Kawasaki ZX-10R +1.774s
4. Shane Byrne GBR Be Wiser Ducati Panigale R +2.305s
5. Christian Iddon GBR Tyco BMW S1000RR +5.604s
6. Jason O’Halloran AUS Honda Racing CBR1000RR +6.797s
7. Leon Haslam GBR JG Speedfit Kawasaki ZX-10R +6.926s
8. John Hopkins USA Moto Rapido Ducati Panigale R +12.425s
9. Bradley Ray GBR Buildbase Suzuki GSX-R1000 +12.454s
10. Sylvain Guintoli FRA Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000 +12.994s
11. Martin Jessopp GBR Ridersmotorcycles BMW S1000RR +18.267s
12. Jakub Smrz CZE Lloyd & Jones/PR Racing BMW S1000RR +18.424s
13. Taylor Mackenzie GBR Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000 +18.550s
14. Lee Jackson GBR Smiths Racing BMW S1000RR +20.352s
15. Dan Linfoot GBR Honda Racing CBR1000RR +20.734s
16. Tommy Bridewell GBR Team WD-40 Kawasaki ZX-10R +20.932s
17. Andrew Reid GBR Tyco BMW S1000RR +21.144s
18. James Westmoreland GBR Gearlink Kawasaki ZX-10R +21.367s
19. James Ellison GBR McAMS Yamaha YZF-R1 +21.516s
20. Glenn Irwin GBR Be Wiser Ducati Panigale R +22.227s
21. Michael Laverty GBR McAMS Yamaha YZF-R1 +22.405s
22. Shaun Winfield GBR Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha YZF-R1 +39.452s
Did not finish
Michael Rutter GBR Bathams SMT BMW S1000RR
Aaron Zanotti GBR Platform Hire Yamaha YZF-R1
Michael Dunlop GBR Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000
Billy McConnell AUS Quattro Plant FS-3 Kawasaki ZX-10R
Ruled out by injury
Luke Mossey GBR JG Speedfit Kawasaki ZX-10R