Champion Brookes back in the game: 45 points grabbed in last chance saloon secures Showdown spot

Champion Brookes back in the game: 45 points grabbed in last chance saloon secures Showdown spot

13 September 2021

Reigning champion Josh Brookes delivered an incredible fightback at Silverstone to claim his first podium finish of the season for VisionTrack Ducati and with it maintain his unbroken record of Showdown appearances by claiming Title Fighter status in a last chance saloon.

Brookes had been languishing down the standings following a difficult campaign earlier this year and to feature in the Showdown was becoming a much bigger challenge.

However, after making steps forward at both Cadwell Park and Snetterton, the Australian contender arrived at Silverstone tenth in the standings with a 13-point deficit to overhaul the two riders ahead of him.

A fourth place in race one edged him closer as Lee Jackson suffered a DNF and he kept Bradley Ray behind him in fifth place, but a pair of third places on Sunday was his ticket to the Showdown, giving him the edge by just a four-point advantage.

The defending champion bagged a 45-points score from the three races at Silverstone, which matched the two McAMS Yamaha riders, Jason O'Halloran and Tarran Mackenzie.

Brookes remains the rider with the most Showdown appearances, qualifying every season since its introduction, apart from 2016 when he competed in the World Championship and 2021 marks his tenth Title Fighter appearance.

Speaking after race three, Brookes said: “That third race was a lot more hard fought so I'm proud of our efforts. In the earlier race, to get mugged at the end was a bit of a downer.

“I ended up in the same position in race three, but I feel a lot better about it. I raced from a position, we had the stoppage and then in the restart I got a good start for once! I had a good battle with Tommy [Bridewell] as well. All around it's been positive.

“I actually didn't know Danny [Buchan] was there too on the last lap, I just saw Tommy come past and I didn't want to give up the position. I didn't know where other people were in the race and potentially losing another place would've meant I may have been out of the Showdown.

“I had a couple of motivating factors to be sure I got back. The point where I wanted to get back past him I couldn't actually do the move. Tommy outbroke himself, so we eventually achieved the same result. I'm just pleased for the VisionTrack Ducati team, the sponsors and everyone that supports me.

"Last time we were at Oulton Park I had a lot of problems getting performance, but we seemed to make some good changes to get the bike up to the speed we’re at now, but if Silverstone is a gauge, this is a track we've normally, not sucked at, but not particularly gone good at! So if this is an example, then maybe we'll go good at Oulton Park too. I'm as curious as anyone to find out so we will see what happens in the Showdown.”