Josh Brookes under Oulton Park lap record to top official BSB test from Byrne
Josh Brookes has his sights set on victory ahead of next weekend’s third round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park over the Bank Holiday weekend (2/3/4 May) and he got his preparations off to the best possible start by setting a pace under the lap record to top today’s (Friday) Official Test.
Brookes heads to the Cheshire circuit off the back of a pair of podium finishes at Brands Hatch last weekend, but the Milwaukee Yamaha rider proved he is ready to come out fighting at the next round by clawing ahead of defending champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne by 0.041s.
Byrne had been closing the gap throughout the sessions, but it wasn’t enough to displace fierce rival Brookes from the top of the times. The pair had improved during the afternoon to push themselves ahead of James Ellison who had set the pace in the opening test session this morning. The JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider is six points off Byrne’s standings lead after a double victory at Brands Hatch and aiming for more next weekend.
Stuart Easton fought his way into the top five on the second PBM Kawasaki; the Scottish contender also inside the lap record in fourth place ahead of Tyco BMW’s Tommy Bridewell and triple champion Ryuichi Kiyonari on the Buildbase BMW.
The next round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship takes place this May Bank Holiday weekend (2/3/4 May) at Oulton Park in Cheshire.
Josh Brookes – “It is a positive and negative at the moment because when you go fast straight away its harder to find more speed – the closer you get to the limit, the harder it is to make improvements. But the good thing is we have come from pre-season testing, then to Donington and Brands Hatch and now to here, and the bike has worked consistently at all three which are really different tracks.
“Oulton Park is like a rollercoaster because it has ups and downs and undulations, off and on camber corners, so to stay consistent is the first of many good signs, so from there we are steadily adjusting spring and preload to see how that felt.
“We have done a really typical day at work and we are leading the times which is a good sign and it will be hard to improve without sacrificing something else but we are confident we can tailor some more areas, but it is up to me to put in a smooth, fast lap, so it is down to me now.”
BSB Oulton Park official test April 2015
1. Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) 1m:34.850s
2. Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki) +0.041s
3. James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.233s
4. Stuart Easton (PBM Kawasaki) +0.339s
5. Tommy Bridewell (Tyco BMW) +0.631s
6. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) +0.797s