Anvil TAG Yamaha’s Josh Brookes ended the opening day of MCE British Superbike free practice in third place on the combined timesheets and is fastest around two third of Donington Park, leaving him two sectors to improve on tomorrow before qualifying.
The Australian former champion is ahead of fastest man Leon Haslam is three out of five splits at the Leicestershire track but is let down in the Craner Curves to Coppice section - where the R1 should be at its best - so Brookes will be looking at improvements there tomorrow.
“I have had a lot more dry track time on the bike today than in pre-season testing and I’m pleased with how it has gone so far. We found a some direction in the first session, didn’t push too hard, let the times come naturally and set some good laptimes for third. Then we made some changes in the second one which didn’t work the way we thought they would,” said Brookes, speaking to bikesportnews.com at the track.
“So we had to kind of stick a plaster on the setup at the end, going heavier on the fork springs, to find a fast time and stay P3. We ended up with three laps in the 1’29s even with that so tomorrow we can go back to what we had in the morning and work again from there. The bike isn’t exactly where I need it to be and we have to find some time in the second sector - which is where I would expect it to be be at its best - and fast where it might not be so good, so there are a lot of positives there too.
“Even though I went quicker in the second session, I had to try a lot harder to make the laptime and the time in FP1 came more naturally, which is the way this bike should be. The effort in FP2 didn’t show a big enough reward. I know what I am hoping to feel from the bike tomorrow - I am optimistic we can get that early and hopefully do a longer run in FP3 and look a bit more at tyre wear.”