Josh Brookes declared himself ‘really quite happy’ with his run to fourth place on his debut outing in the Macau Grand Prix after utilising his short circuit experience to make significant gains come race day.
The double British Superbike Champion brought a landmark 2023 racing campaign - his first with the FHO Racing BMW team - to a conclusion with his first visit to the notorious walled and barrier-lined Guia Circuit.
Competing on home soil for FHO Racing’s team boss Faye Ho, Brookes successfully stayed out of trouble while acclimatising to the rigours of the unique street course, steadily gaining in both confidence and pace.
Qualifying 12th, Brookes would go on to find the skills that make him the winningest rider in BSB history advantageous come race day as he steadily picked his way through the pack to take the flag in fourth place.
While disappointed to finish just shy of the rostrum, in a year that has seen Brookes twice win in BSB and achieve a maiden podium at the Isle of Man TT, the Aussie says he isn’t coming away from his Macau baptism feeling disappointed.
“I’m really quite happy with fourth, considering it’s my first time here. When we lost some time in qualifying it lowered my expectation on how far I could improve. I think it all comes down to track time and familiarisation with the circuit.
“[But] in the race it’s a completely different atmosphere, which suits me better. I’m accustomed to racing, so I felt like I improved more in the race.
“Of course, it would have been fantastic for the team if I had finished on the podium, but it wasn’t to be. So, you have to be happy with fourth and that we’re going home safe.”