Josh Brookes took a second placed podium and a fourth place away from the weekend’s second round of the British Superbike Championship at Thruxton, but was left frustrated after incidents, pace cars and red flags littered the two races, inhibiting the Tyco Suzuki rider’s race strategy.
Brookes opted for the harder SC2 rear Pirelli tyre in both outings, looking to gain a distinct advantage in the latter stages.
But with incidents bringing the pace car out in both race one and for an extended period in race two before a red flag, the Aussie didn’t quite take the points he felt he should have from the two outings.
Brookes said, “I don’t want to complain but I am frustrated at the outcome as the red flag in race two, especially, really destroyed our strategy with the SC2 tyre.
“We opted for the harder tyre in both races but with so many incidents I didn’t get the chance to really make it pay in race one, and race two pretty much ended after seven or eight laps behind a pace car.
“It could have been worse and we could have ended up in the fence like a lot of other guys, so we will just regroup now and look forward to Oulton.”
Brookes’ young teammate PJ Jacobsen joined the Australian on the front row for the opening encounter but a small mistake on lap one, followed by arm pump in the latter stages, left him to fight valiantly for a ninth place at the chequered flag.
The BSB rookie took 11th place in the second outing with the result declared after 13 of the scheduled twenty laps, when the red flag was deployed.
He said, “Today was frustrating. We had a good opportunity with our front row grid position in race one but the guys in front seemed to brake early into turn three or four and I ended up having to run wide after lofting the rear wheel in the air.
“I fought back and top ten is still a good result but not what I think I could have achieved. Race two was always going to be tough from the fourth row of the grid and with so many laps behind the pace car we were never going to make much progress.”
In the British Supersport Championship, Taylor Mackenzie took 12th and 11th placed finishes from today’s two outings.
In race one the young Scottish rider used the session as extra set-up time, as he endeavoured to perfect his feel on the Tyco Suzuki GSX-R600 around the fast and bumpy Thruxton circuit.
He made significant progress in race two with his lap times and is now looking forward to Oulton Park at the beginning of May.
He said, “We made a tyre change for the second race and it was one hundred times better and I was really excited, but then I got stuck behind Scott Smart.
“I went to pass him and ran on at the chicane, which messed me up a bit. I did feel that I could get back onto the tail end of the front group, but by the time I got past Scott my tyre was finished.
“The bike felt a lot better in that second race and we were only half a second off the fastest lap, so I’ve got to be happy with that, although the position is not where I want to be.”
Philip Neill, Tyco Suzuki team manager, added, “In the circumstances it was a solid enough day for all three riders today. In saying that I have to be honest and say, that we leave the second round a bit frustrated and disappointed.
“We had what we believed to be a really good strategy for today, as Thruxton is such a strong circuit usually for Josh, and the boys had done an excellent job setting the bike up for a race duration.
“The goal was to come strong at the end of both races. Granted, Josh was super strong at the end of the first race but just left the door open on the last lap for Shakey, which cost him dearly.
“We were very confident for race two and the strategy was not to move to the front until the final few laps, which we were not able to do because of the stoppage. That’s how it goes sometimes.
“PJ and Taylor were also a little disappointed with their performances, but they are building results slowly, which is what I want them both to do, so we have no concerns with either of them. I’m confident both our young riders will come on strong as the season progresses.”