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Phillip Island WSBK test: ‘Good first day’ for privateer Brookes

Josh Brookes is pleased with his first day as a privately-entered WorldSBK wildcard rider, finishing a little under three seconds behind Xavi Fores on what is effectively an MCE British Superbike-spec R1 with little in the way of electronics and a horsepower deficit.

Brookes is testing at Phillip Island ahead of his brief return to WorldSBK before he jets back to Europe for the BSB season and the bike is basically the one on which he won the British title in 2015 but with a kit electronic system and a couple of other small changes.
“We didn’t have any break downs or crashes, which was the main thing,” said Brookes, who has never ridden an R1 around the 4.445km seaside circuit until today.

The 33-year-old did spend a lot of the first session waiting in the pits to see if the weather would get better. “Once we recognised that the weather was not going to dry up we went out on wets and did a few laps to check that everything was running and working ok,” Brookes told BSN.


However, a few issues were to unfold in the second two-hour session with the front brakes as the adjuster was getting in the way. “We didn’t recognise that the cable was interfering because when it was stationary in the pits without full brake pressure it wasn’t in the way.”

Due to this, Brookes and his ERMotorsports-EliteRoads.com.au team lost a bit of direction because they were trying to find a problem which wasn’t recognised straight away. Still, a 1’34.259 was recorded for the former 2005 Australian Superbike and Supersport champion, which saw him finish in 16th place.

“In general I believe it was a good first day. We will just see how we progress from here,” said Brookes who won as a wildcard rider at Phillip Island in 2004 in the Supersport race.

Brookes explained that every lap is important as you learn something new with the bike, the setup and the tyres. “We made a few changes. Its only day one, so we will have to see where we go from here. First thing is to see what the weather is like tomorrow. It’s meant to be better tomorrow. In saying that, it’s Phillip Island so you can never tell what the weather will do.”

The Bringelly man will see how the bike feels in the morning, as the team will make a few changes with the engine brake. “We’ll start with that setup change, use that as a base and go from there,” he concluded.

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