BSB: Progress for Brookes at Oulton test

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Josh Brookes and the McAMS Yamaha team were back on the pace at the Oulton test after a disastrous start to their 2018 campaign.

Struggling to find rear grip over the first two rounds, Brookes languishes 11th in the championship standings but after two busy tests since Brands Hatch, the Aussie seems to have made the progress needed to return to the front.

The McAMS squad tested privately at Silverstone last week before heading to the official Oulton test, where a number of geometry changes and a new suspension linkage from the World Superbike team seemed to get them back on track despite both Brookes and team-mate Mackenzie suffering with technical issues during the day.

“We’ve made some big improvements,” Brookes told MCN. “The bike is more or less where I’d have expected it to be at the start. The changes we’ve had to make to get some grip have really changed the character of the bike, but that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make!

“The main change we’ve made is to the bike’s centre of gravity, it feels a lot more stable in the middle of a corner now. It’s not so stable in a straight line, but we can work on that. 

“This track is difficult to go fast on, so if we can go fast here it shows good signs for the next races. Donington and Brands were well outside of my expected targets. I’ve been off the pace, so to come here and be quick from the first session is obviously going to boost confidence for both me and the team.”

While there was joy on one side of the McAMS Yamaha garage, the test proved tough for rookie Tarran Mackenzie who ended the day 21st on the timesheets after missing the best session of the day with a technical issue. 

Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing