Be Wiser Ducati new boy Josh Brookes says he is relishing the chance to develop the Panigale V4 from the ground up into a Bennetts British Superbike winner.
The Australian is moving away from the safe territory of Yamaha’s R1 - on which he won his 2015 BSB title - and on to a bike that, so far, only a handful of people have ridden.
“The Ducati will be a new bike and no-one will have any preconceived ideas, it really leaves it open to what the rider feels and says on the track, it really steers the direction and I enjoy that side of it,” said Brookes, speaking to bikesportnews.com.
“The thing that excites me is we can move in a natural direction rather than with a preconceived notion of how it should be. It will be a natural progression of change by what the bike does on the track. I like learning about a bike, changing stuff and seeing what happens.
“I think it will be a good balance because it is a high-spec bike with lots of things you can change and the ability to change should you need to, but not being dictated to as the people with the big jobs at the factory have got other things to do, so they will leave it to the team.
“The Ducati jewel is the Desmo system but the V-twin can’t rev high because of its big pistons and heavy crank, so their golden egg hasn’t really been used to its full potential but now it’s a V4, it’s a 1000cc to match all the other bikes and it can rev high, plus they don’t have any valve issues with the superior Desmo system, so it’s perfect time.
“The V4 is a proven concept, almost everyone uses it in MotoGP and that’s not luck or coincidence and it’s going to be a nice element to work with.”
Paul Bird’s team will receive direct help from the Bologna factory as it has in previous season and although Brookes has had turblent times with works-assisted teams previously, he believes that in BSB, it will be different.
“This is a different scenario really. BSB has individual rules whereas in WorldSBK, people have a fixed opinion on what should be happening.
“When people have a set plan they work to, they have opinions on how it should be done and then you get a load of people with different opinions, but they all think their way is the right way, it can be difficult to progress.
“As a rider, you’re a long way down the pecking order when things are decided. With BSB and its ruleset, the factory might just be giving technical information and not so much direction, which means you find your way more naturally with what is working on BSB tracks on a BSB-spec bike.”
Brookes' team-mate Scott Redding will have to spend the first few test days getting used to Pirelli tyres and very little in the way of electronics, so it can be expected the Bringelly man will take the development lead initially.
It is not known yet when the team will first test, but Ducati Corse boss Gigi Dall'Igna has indicated the customer V4s could be ready for the end of November at Jerez.
No decision has yet been taken on whether Brookes will take long-time crew chief Stewart Winton with him to PBM.