Brookes Back To BSB With Double Podium

/ June 17, 2013

Josh Brookes returned to British Superbike action at the weekend, taking two podium finishes at Knockhill in Scotland.

The Tyco Suzuki rider, fresh from an impressive debut at the Isle of Man TT, qualified second quickest on Saturday, and followed that up with two closely contested second placed finishes in the two races on Sunday.

He said, “In race one I wanted to lead and push to try and make a break on Shakey, but I hit a bit of a wall with my lap times, as the rear tyre was spinning up more than normal; maybe with the track temperature today.

“We did come together at one stage when he tried to make a pass but it’s wasn’t a big impact, but Shakey came back past and I had to settle for second.”

“In race two it was mentally tough watching Shakey ride away from me, but it also spurred me on and I actually made some time back on him towards the end of the race.

“I just focused on narrowing it down bit-by-bit and seeing the gap come down gave me energy and encouragement.”

The Australian rider also received the Flying Haggis Award, awarded in memory of Steve Hislop, for the fastest lap of the weekend, which was presented by Steve’s mum Margaret and his sons Aaron and Conor Hislop.

Brookes added, “I did a brilliant lap to win the Steve Hislop Award, which is a great honour to receive, and we are now second in the championship.

“It’s all about moving forward now and trying to bridge that gap to Shakey from the next round at Snetterton at the start of July.”

PJ Jacobsen enjoyed his best British Superbike weekend to date. After qualifying sixth fastest he finished ninth in race one, suffering with arm pump as the race wore on. He improved to seventh in race two.

He said, “After a good qualifying and getting up to sixth in race one I got a little bit tense and suffered arm pump, so I was disappointed to drop down to ninth. Race two was a lot better and I was able to hold off the guys behind me.

“To come away with two top ten finishes at the most physical track I’ve ever ridden at is quite pleasing. There is absolutely no rest at this place and it’s maybe not a track to suit the smaller riders like myself, but you have to ‘man-up’ and I think I did that.”

In the Supersport class, Taylor Mackenzie had a difficult qualifying session after a crash, and started 20th on the grid. However, he followed it up with a 14th in the first race and improved to 11th in race two.

He said, “The second race was a lot better and I was happy to score points, although it’s not quite where we need to be, which is inside that top ten at least.

“In saying that it was always going to be difficult from where I was starting on the grid, but taking the positives: I’ve posted my quickest ever lap around Knockhill and my ideal sector times are really only about a tenth off the front runners, so that’s encouraging.

“We need to get a decent run at Snetterton, but that’s the best the bike has been all year; it’s a real rocket ship so thanks to the boys in the team for their effort.”

Team Manager Philip Neill added, “Knockhill hasn’t been that kind to us in the past in Superbike. And just coming off a busy period, it’s fair to say our expectations weren’t that high, but I’m very pleased with how Josh came away with two second places and the fastest lap of the weekend.

“There was a bit of pressure on him to be fair with people asking the question, was the road racing going to disrupt Josh in his BSB, and although we always believed that it wouldn’t, there’s always a chance that it could have. Although I believe it made him slightly sharper and definitely more determined.

“PJ, as I’ve said all along, this year is a learning curve for him and he’s finally accepted that. He knows where his place is and he progressed all weekend and had a super weekend.

“Taylor had a bit of a struggle after a slip off on Saturday and had to start from 20th on the grid, which is never easy at such a small track. He showed determination and moved forward in both races so we have got to be happy with that.”