Last minute practice improvements enabled Josh Brookes to jump up the order and secure a front row start for tomorrow’s opening Bennetts British Superbike race at Knockhill.
The Aussie had languished in 12th on the opening day as he struggled for feeling with his McAMS Yamaha, but improvements late in free practice three saw him move second fastest ahead of the afternoon’s qualifying session.
Easily making it through the first two sessions, Brookes went on to post his quickest ever Knockhill lap with a 47’256, just 0.098 seconds off poleman Jake Dixon.
Having struggled through practice, Brookes’ race pace is somewhat of an unknown quantity but despite that he’s confident for tomorrow’s two races.
“When I first rode the bike here yesterday it felt like it was a struggle to make the apex and I felt like I didn’t have a lot of front end grip,” Brookes told MCN.
“We made some changes and really improved the feeling, I found some grip and we worked a bit on engine braking but as much as the bike improved the lap time didn’t. We made a couple of fine tweaks at the end of FP3 and it made a real big difference in the lap time.
“We already had the bike in a decent range, but it just needed that last bit for me to get confidence in it so I could push it to the limit and that’s when the lap time came.
“Our race pace on paper doesn’t look good as it took us so long to get up to speed, but I feel that now I can do the lap time I should be able to back it up with consistency. Earlier in the weekend when I was trying to improve the bike, the consistency was there just the lap time wasn’t. I tend to work the bike to the point I can do the lap time and once I get there I can repeat it. I’m pretty confident we should be there in the race.”