Endurance: Brookes ready to race after ‘challenging’ week at Suzuka

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Reigning MCE British Superbike champion Josh Brookes has admitted to a difficult weekend so far in Suzuka, as he prepares for the 8 Hour race with teammates Takumi Tsuda and Nori Haga.

Missing out on tests thanks to his World Superbike schedule the Yoshimura Suzuki rider says that a lot of new features on the old GSX-R1000 has left them playing catch up all weekend.

“It’s been challenging so far. The bike has gone through a lot of changes – quite technical stuff to make it easier for the mechanics more than for the riders. The shock is easier to remove, the fuel tank design has been changed, and the wiring and ECU position are all new.

“That doesn’t make the bike easier to ride, so we’ve had to go through a lot of changes to make the bike easier to ride. For the first few days, the main problem was chatter, and it took working through a lot of different settings. It’s greatly improved, but we’re just going to have to ride around it.”

However, despite the issues, he says that he’s still confident that with some successful last minute alterations that allowed teammate Tsuda to take second on the grid, they can be competitive.

“We have as good a chance as anyone else on the grid. The bike is still definitely one of the strongest. Yamaha are the strongest on paper, but they’ve been tuning the bike for qualifying, so it’ll significantly drop power tomorrow to get the fuel economy they need.

“Even considering that, they’re showing an advantage, but we’re on even terms with everyone else. We’ve got three strong riders, the team is really experienced, and we’re all capable of lap times fast enough to win.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer