Josh Brookes bounces back from crash to top Friday practice at Oulton Park
Josh Brookes charged from zero to hero as he topped the free practice sessions for the triple-header seventh round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park.
It was a remarkable change of fortune for the Australian who had crashed out spectacularly in the morning session at Druids, leaving his Milwaukee Yamaha badly damaged, but Brookes repaid the hard work of his team to repair his bike.
“I made a mistake passing a rider and got impatient. I was left with less room on the entry to Druids so as a result I was on the side of the tyre, on the wet grass and that doesn’t mix. I was really annoyed to have a crash for no reason and it could have been avoided,” said Brookes.
“We put it behind us, built the bike back up and then concentrated on going quicker. I am happy with where we are though. We have the setting and are tailoring it, so I am ready for tomorrow now,” said Brookes.
Brookes’ final run of laps put him ahead of the two former triple MCE BSB champions Ryuichi Kiyonari on the Buildbase BMW and Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki’s series-leader Shane Byrne.
Dan Linfoot continued his impressive form of the previous round, running his Quattro Plant Kawasaki in the the top five, as did Lloyds British GBmoto Kawasaki rider Chris Walker. Former MotoGP rider John Hopkins making the top six on his Tyco Suzuki.
Now they all have one final practice session on Saturday morning to fine tune their bikes ahead of the lunchtime Datatag Extreme Qualifying session which determines the grid for the afternoon’s opening race. A further two races will be decided over 18 laps on Sunday.
Graeme Gowland headed off his team-mate in both free practice sessions in the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship at Oulton Park, saving the best for last with a stunning final lap in 1m 37.851s.
The Smiths Triumph rider defends a single point advantage over his team-mate Billy McConnell who was his closest rival again in these two sessions.
Luke Stapleford was equally consistent, recording the third best time, with Glenn Irwin on the Gearlink Kawasaki and then Luke Mossey on the Techcare Profile Triumph in close contention.
Former title winner Alastair Seeley ran fifth fastest overall aboard his MarTrain Yamaha, but American rider James Rispoli had a dissapointing session, crashing his Team Traction Control Yamaha late on in the second session.
In the Supersport EVO class David Allingham, after his morning problems with his IN Competition Yamaha hit back strongly, running second fastest to Danny Webb.
Milwaukee Yamaha Report
The Milwaukee Yamaha team topped the opening free practice sessions at Oulton Park ahead of the seventh round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship after Josh Brookes bounced back from a crash to steal the show.
Brookes had arrived in Cheshire confident as he bids to add to his double Thruxton race win, but suffered a high-speed crash at Druids in the opening session. The team worked hard and Brookes was back on track this afternoon and unfazed he outpaced his rivals to lead into tomorrow’s qualifying and opening race
Tommy Bridewell is also feeling upbeat ahead of tomorrow’s action, he set the seventh fastest time and is pushing to overhaul the riders ahead of him in his quest for a position inside the top six in the standings.
Brookes said: “This morning was fairly poor. I rode out and did a number of laps to just get a feeling and into a rhythm for the circuit and then I came in for a bit. When I went back out I just made a mistake passing another rider. I got impatient and went around the outside over Clay Hill and then I didn’t get the change in direction quick enough. That meant as I was also passing, I was left with less room on the entry to Druids. As a result I was on the side of the tyre, on the wet grass and that doesn’t mix. I was really annoyed to have a crash for no reason and it could have been avoided.
“Once we put that behind us we focused on this afternoon and got the bike built back up and focused on this afternoon. I got the feel for it then concentrated on just going quicker. I don’t know if the track is currently as fast as it was earlier in the season as our lap times are a little way off from when we were here before, but it might just need another day. I am happy with where we are going and the Milwaukee Yamaha package, we are tailoring it now ready for qualifying and the race tomorrow – I am ready for it!”
Bridewell said: “Today has been alright; we have had a nice steady day to be honest. We haven’t done anything stupid and enjoyed the sunshine at Oulton Park! There is no secret that I want to be higher up the standings. We were fourth this morning and seventh this afternoon, which will do for now and it isn’t a disaster. We have a lot of ideas on what we can work on for tomorrow and hopefully we can improve the base setting and then hopefully tomorrow will be a bit of a better day for us.”
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