Anvil TAG Yamaha’s Josh Brookes is now up to second in the MCE British Superbike championship after finishing the first Oulton Park race in third, but the 22-point gap to leader Leon Haslam is concerning the Australian.
The 2015 champ ended race two in fifth after he was pipped by Smiths BMW’s Peter Hickman on the final lap, but he finished ahead of rivals, Be Wiser Ducati’s Shane Byrne and Honda Racing’s Jason O’Halloran.
Even though Brookes has leap-frogged Byrne in the championship table he was ‘not satisfied’ with himself as a rider and now needs to win races at the next round at Assen to claw back points on Haslam.
“I feel a rode a too sensible race but I know it stands to reason if you have a DNF in the showdown its certainly ends your championship hopes so I had to consider the risk versus the reward,” said Brookes, after race one.
“I didn’t feel like the amount I could ride faster by risking a bit more was going to catch the guys in front or keep anyone behind that was coming at a good speed.
“If I did risk a little bit it was going to be a tenth or two per lap and that was enough so I just had to ride a steady race and I rode as close to the limit as I felt I could but conservative compared to an early season wet race.
“I am quite pleased to be on the podium because it is important in this point of the championship but disappointed that the setup we had in FP1 was better than we had just now [in the race].”
After race two Brookes added: “The second race was dry but the bike didn’t perform as it did earlier this weekend so I just rode it to the best I could. We are 22 points behind, it’s a lot. A 22 point gap is a lot to leave here with and try to make up.
“For me as a rider myself, I am not satisfied with the weekend. We need to go to Assen with something better. I need to win races at Assen, that’s all there is to it. If we’re going to win the championship this year the bike has to be right.
“I have to ride it perfectly every time out and we have to have a 100% satisfying weekend. That’s what we have got to focus on trying to achieve. You try and achieve that every weekend but that’s clearly what needs to happen for us to have a chance.”