Josh Brookes was left with mixed emotions after the opening hour-long testing session of the weekend at Brands Hatch, making changes that negatively affected his Milwaukee Yamaha but still managing to find pace late in the session to go second fastest.
“We made some small changes with the bike and noticed some small improvements, but I actually feel like we went backwards. Where we were improving weren’t worth what we were sacrificing to find them - I was getting quicker and getting more comfortable with the bike, but by the end of the session I was really backing the bike into the corners, which had come as a result of the changes.”
“I was getting a little better here and there, but then losing time on corner entry. I think we’ll maybe go half way to what we did, and see if there’s a compromise; somewhere in between that gives the best of both.”
Despite the issues, he was still able to find a fast lap time, not only late in the session but on used tyres, something that bodes well for the pair of thirty lap races on Monday.
“I actually am quite happy, though, because with five minutes I dropped down a bit, but them managed to go second on the last lap, and did it with thirty four laps on the tyre. I’m looking at the negatives from the session, but Mick my crew chief says we’ve got to look at those positives. It wasn’t the last run in qualifying; it was the first run in practice.”
Closing the gap on pre-race favourite Shane Byrne to only 0.1 seconds, Brookes says he was actually more impressed with Byrne’s Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki teammate Stuart Easton, who ended the day third fastest, only 0.1 behind the Australian.
“I was actually surprised to see Stuart so quick so early on; I knew was going to be competition later on in the year, and we’ve had some great races in the past at places like Oulton Park, but I thought it would take a bit longer for him to go from supersport to superbike.”