WSB: Brookes happy with progress despite technical setbacks

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Phillip Island World Superbike wildcard Josh Brookes was happy with the progress he made in the final pre-season test at the Australian circuit before the opening round of the series kicks off this weekend.

Brookes’ progress came in spite of losing significant track time due to an engine problem early on Tuesday, but he would go on to record a lap time of 1’32.3 and place 15th on the overall timesheets. 

Brookes’ time is already quicker than the lap he clocked in free practice with the Milwaukee BMW team last year and he’s just half a second off the time he set in qualifying, all on a home-built version of the Yamaha YZF-R1 he won the 2015 MCE British Superbike Championship aboard.    

“I was happy enough to finish this afternoon in the low 1’32s considering the lack of track time,” said Brookes. Compared to my lap times in Friday practice last year, I’m already a second quicker on a lower spec bike that we’re still looking to improve, so that’s a positive!


“Phillip Island is quite unique for set up and although the adjustments we need to make aren’t going to find us seconds, there’s still more to come from set up and with more track time and as I get used to being back on the Yamaha.

“When you’ve invested so much time and effort into a project personally, it can be disheartening to face such challenges early on and being a wildcard you’re always going to be up against it from the start, but the team are working really well together and we’ve tried to be as prepared as possible. 

“Now it’s about working with what we have and doing the best we can with it. Although testing wasn’t ideal, we are all pretty excited for the race weekend now. It’s a real grass roots effort and reminds me of when I first started out, we’ve worked really hard over the last six weeks to make this happen so just to be here, set up and on the grid is a real achievement. I’m confident now as the weekend progresses so will we.” 

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

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