Brookes: "I couldn't believe the pace!"

Author: Bike Social Sports Reporter Posted: 06 May 2014

Brookes couldn't believe the pace in race two

Josh Brookes has said he couldn’t believe the pace he and Shane Byrne were running in today’s second race at Oulton Park. Brookes crossed the line 0.118 ahead of Byrne’s Rapid Solictor’s Kawasaki after missing out on the victory to his Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rival in the first race earlier on.

Starting from pole position, Brookes took the early lead but Shane Byrne and James Ellison latched onto the Australian refusing to let him pull away. The Milwaukee Yamaha man had a moment to breathe as the Kawasaki pairing fought for second place but Byrne soon fended off the Cumbrian’s attack and began to chase Brookes down. Byrne took the lead just once in the race, making a move into Brittens for Brookes to immediately defend.

“In the first race the bike didn’t feel that good in the early stages but towards the end it came into its own and I was able to peg back Shakey [Byrne] but it was too little too late” said Brookes speaking to Bike Social at Brands Hatch.

“You can’t give a guy of that calibre that much advantage and hope to pass him for the win. I was pleased to just get close enough to make it even a little bit exciting! For race two, we made one change and it was a difficult decision as when you’re at that stage you don’t want to touch anything because you’re worried how that might impact your next race. We bit the bullet and did it as we needed to improve the bike in the first half of the race but unfortunately it’s a similar pattern as with most things, you rob Peter to pay Paul! We made up a bit in the first half of the race but lost a little in the end. With three or four laps to go I was really hanging the bike out and having some moments, I was really grateful to see the chequered flag.”

Losing his feel towards the end of the race, Brookes turned to defending his line making his Yamaha R1 as wide as possible at all the spots Byrne wanted to make a move, just as the Kawasaki man had in the first race.

Brookes and Byrne fought hard in race two

“I knew Shakey was there all the way through, the team gave me the pit board and it was like point zero, point one, point two, point zero again I just couldn’t break him! I couldn’t believe the lap times we were doing over and over, I thought that one of us had to fade off at some point or worse, fall as we can’t keep maintaining this speed but we did, I did a 1’35.9 on the last lap so a very hot pace. The bike is capable of doing it and if you push hard like that you can certainly make it happen.”

With three podiums including this victory so far, this is the best start to a British Superbike season Brookes has ever had and this comes after the Aussie made the switch from Suzuki to Yamaha machinery.

“I had good expectations of this bike from watching it last year with Ellison and before that with Tommy Hill. I knew the calibre of the machine and the team and I knew we’d be good coming here. As soon as I rode the R1 I felt the potential was there, we just had to get a set-up I was comfortable with. I’d say we got to that point by the time we left Spain and I knew that winning was possible on this bike.

“The results at Brands didn’t reflect my pace so I was happy there and I’m thrilled here. I’d have loved to have won both races but I’m happy to come away with at least a win. Now I’ve got the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT to fill my gap with a bit of road racing and then we come back to Snetterton which will be fine for this bike so I’m really looking forward to it.”

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