Josh Brookes: "This is my best chance yet"

Author: Oli Rushby Pics: Impact Images Posted: 24 Aug 2015

Brookes says this is his best chance of the title yet

British Superbike star Josh Brookes has said his recent run of form has been a ‘long time coming’ after storming to his sixth successive win at Cadwell Park yesterday.

Brookes became the first rider to win six races on the bounce since Leon Camier in 2009 this weekend, cruising to his third consecutive double victory aboard Yamaha’s new YZF-R1.

“It’s been a long time coming,” he said speaking to Bike Social at Cadwell Park. “In my second season in BSB I was second in the championship to Kiyonari and he was already a two times winner, so for a while I have been expecting to be able to carry this form but through my time at Honda, then Suzuki and then my first Yamaha season last year things didn’t go to plan.

“I had the confidence in myself that this kind of form could be achieved but through a mixture of things, team and bike combination, the bike not being good enough or just the general package at the time, we couldn’t do it, but that just emphasises how well things are going now.

“The team, the crew that I’ve got in Milwaukee Yamaha are the best crew I’ve worked with. As one group of people working in harmony it just works. We’re all very friendly and it’s not just a work environment it’s a friendly environment too.”

Brookes’ dominance comes after a steady start to the season with Yamaha’s radically new R1, which the Milwaukee Yamaha squad ran in almost standard trim at the first round as they awaited the development of racing parts.

No burnout this time

“The bike is a new model this year and we’ve been able to improve it as the year has gone on. We had a period of time wehre we had to wait for the bike to naturally progress. Now it’s almost like a ‘I told you so!’. Not to be arrogant or cheeky, but we knew we had the bike, the rider and the people we just had to massage everything into its correct position so we could create the results and now we’re starting to prove it.”

Brookes’ form has come at a time when arch-rival Shane Byrne has been struggling with his Kawasaki ZX10-R. The four-times champ has been off the podium more than he’s been on it in the last two rounds, but Brookes says he won’t be lulled into a false sense of security.

“Shakey is a hard competitor and I wouldn’t ever expect him to go down without a fight. He is still one of my main rivals. I’m as confused as he probably is about why his form as suffered in the last two rounds but while he isn’t performing there are others stepping up to the plate so you can never relax.

“I had a big gap today but I kept pushing as today I might not have had someone on my back wheel but next time I might have so I need to get used to that maximum riding style.”

The Aussie now leads the title chase by 39 points, with four podium credits in hand over Byrne too. He’s never led the championship going into the showdown, will this change things?

“You get more confidence if you go into the showdown as championship leader, you’re a result of your own success. My confidence will be higher going into the showdown if I’m leading at the showdown. I hope to do well in all three races at Oulton, last time we were there the bike was still in its early stages of development so let’s see what we can do there.

“I have to say this is my best chance yet. The few years at Suzuki we struggled to get any consistency with the wins, we had a few but they were scattered. It was the same last year on the Yamaha, I did the double at Thruxton but then what? You have to maintain the winning form and last year we weren’t consistent enough and we were chopping and changing the setting between sessions. This year, the bike is so consistent we can make small adjustments and we’re in the range again. Last year it was shocks out, forks out just to make the bike work and we’d even be changing things for the race in morning warm-up. Now, on Friday afternoon we’ve got a race set-up. It’s a luxury at the moment I’m enjoying as I’ve suffered for quite a few years to get here.”