3 May 2017
BSB Round 3 Oulton Park
Putoline supported Anvil Yamaha’s Josh Brookes picked up another solid points haul at the 3rd round of the BSB Championship at Oulton Park this weekend, notching up a seventh and sixth place finish in Monday’s two races, keeping him in the hunt for the 2017 MCE British Superbike Championship, with team mate Shaun Winfield enjoying a positive race day following a challenging weekend
After overnight rain the track dried in time before the start of the first MCE British Superbike race, and from the lights both riders made great starts. Following the opening few laps Brookes held his grid position of fourth, and looked to chase down the leading bunch. Mid race ‘Badboy’ still held fourth place, and was fighting hard to keep the chasing group at bay. However, with a handful of laps to go his rear tyre developed an issue, vibrating violently forcing him to ride around the problem, dropping to seventh as he crossed the line. His team mate Shaun Winfield continued to work his through the field after a good start, and by mid race he had worked his way into 22nd place, fighting hard to work his way into the top 20.‘Munch’ then became embroiled in a battle with James Westmoreland and Aaron Zanotti for 20th place, swapping places for the final few laps, eventually he pipped Zanotti for 21st place.
The second race saw Brookes start from 10th place with Winfield starting 26th, by virtue of the lap times they achieved in the first race. From the lights on Monday afternoon Brookes made a good start, picking up one place after the opening lap, and began to chase down the leading group. The Australian battled in a five man group for third place, after James Ellison and Leon Haslam both crashed out. Josh quickly dispensed with Peter Hickman, and with only a few laps to go, Brookes just couldn’t find a way past Luke Mossey, crossing the line in sixth place only eight tenths of a second behind second place.
Shaun made a bad start as the lights went out, but immediately made up for it, picking off two places on the opening lap, and began to battle with Aaron Zanotti and Michael Dunlop. He worked his way onto the back of the TT star, however on lap five the Irishman pulled in with a technical fault, and he lost the tow to the group ahead. On the final lap, after keeping Zanotti at bay all race long, he was forced to pull a move on him, eventually crossing the line in 18th place, only just outside of the points.
After the weekend, a pleased Josh Brookes said: “I know with the bike on these tracks I can go quicker, I’ve done that before, so I know not to be disheartened that the bike isn’t good enough, but we’ve just got to be patient now and wait for the settings to come. “We’re not a long way from where the pace setters are, it’s a small distance but it’s difficult to find that speed. I’ve just got to not be too disheartened by the results, just stay out of trouble, not crash, just keep chipping away at the points. Then just be patient for the bike to improve.
Finally, Team Owner Rob Winfield summerised: “It’s been a very good weekend. We knew we were up there in qualifying, we were fourth and it was quite close for pole position so it was a pretty good qualifying. Race one didn’t go according to plan, we had a little bit of an issue with the rear tyre, which dropped us back. “That put Josh back on the grid for Race two. In hindsight, we scored some decent points and again in Race two we scored some good points, because we pulled through. There were a few incidents which helped us along the way, and we finished sixth so I’m happy.
Josh Brookes stays in fourth place of the MCE British Superbike Championship on 67 points, 19 behind third place man Christian Iddon. Winfield stays one point, and sits 23rd in the Championship standings.
The team now have a six week break before round four of the Championship, at Knockhill.
Images: Bonnie Lane Graphics