If round one at Oulton Park was disappointing for defending Bennetts British Superbike Champion Josh Brookes, then Knockhill at the weekend was doubly so as he could only manage a best finish of tenth all weekend.
Whilst the Australian has had lowly race finishes before in his long BSB career, they’ve always been a one-off and he’s been able to turn it around in the following race.
That wasn’t the case this time around and Sunday’s results of 12th and 13th on the VisionTrack Ducati meant he left Scotland down in 11th in the title standings and baffled by the situation which has now been the same at the two rounds to take place so far.
“It’s been a similar situation to Oulton in the sense that I’ve had no grip and it’s frustrating as a race winner and British Champion to be rolling around so far back," said Brookes.
"It’s disappointing and embarrassing to be honest. It’s not natural and it’s not normal for me to be in those positions and I’m in a bit of shock.”
Brookes had a solid pre-season, a hefty spill at Silverstone aside, and whilst he didn’t top any of the tests, he was there or thereabouts but getting in the top ten at both Oulton and Knockhill has proven to be an immense challenge. And no matter what he or the team have done, the end results have been the same.
“The bike’s not behaving badly or getting out of shape but for some reason the grip’s not there and the bike hasn’t felt right from the moment we rolled it out the truck this weekend. It doesn’t matter what we’ve done, the feeling’s been the same. I’ve had bad races in the past but not so many in a row like we’ve had so far this season.”
“I’m baffled by the situation so all I can keep doing is relay the information to the team and hope something can be found – I’m sure our hard work and perseverance will see everything come good.”
Brookes will be hoping that happens quickly with the next round at Brands Hatch being the place where he’s excelled the most since arriving on the UK shores in 2009.