Josh Brookes reflects on Lausitzring WorldSBK
Josh Brookes qualified 17th at Lausitzring last weekend and took a couple of points from a 14th place finish in Saturday’s dry race one before claiming a good swag of points from his 7th place finish in Sunday’s wet encounter at the German circuit.
Brookes now has amassed a tally of 69 points on the Milwaukee BMW, despite his struggle to get a handle on the power delivery and throttle response of the German machine. A technical failure during practice also saw Brookes suffer a high speed crash ahead of the weekend’s two races.
A good final three rounds of the series could likely see Brookes progress much further up the championship standings from his current 15th place ranking as he is only 11-points adrift of 12th placed Alex De Angelis. Brookes is 36-points ahead of his well credentialled Milwaukee BMW teammate Karel Abraham.
“It’s great to be back racing after the summer break, and I’ve been feeling good on the bike in the mixed conditions this weekend. Practice and qualifying weren’t too bad while the track was wet/dry, but then it dried in Superpole 1 and I struggled to make up quick lap times. In Race 1 I just focused on doing the best I could, and the lap times were pretty consistent. I was catching Ramos towards the end which gave me extra motivation to push, but I couldn’t quite pass him.
“Race 2 was a big improvement, and we made progress in the morning warm-up. We wanted to try a few things with the swingarm, gearing and wheelbase, and they really worked. The bike was a lot more nimble and didn’t lose grip, and as a result we had a much better race.We had glimpses of things to come on Sunday, and it was great to be in a proper battle again. I’m looking forward to racing at Magny-Cours, and I think if we can keep the bike in the performance margin we found this weekend then we can get some more strong results for sure.”
Shaun Muir, Milwaukee BMW Team Principal
“We started this weekend on the back foot due to our lack of testing. Josh and Karel had prior commitments that couldn’t be changed, and unfortunately without testing we are behind the guys we are chasing. Josh had an electronics malfunction which caused a high-speed crash for him in Practice, but the guys worked through the night to put the bike back together. On Saturday however we were greeted with wet weather, which made Superpole difficult for both riders. It was a real gamble of which tyres to choose, and with a few more laps they would both have qualified higher. Race 1 was tough for both riders. Josh managed to work his way into the points in 14th and did the best he could with the time he’d had with the bike, but Karel had an electrical failure on the bike which meant he could only do 2 laps. Race 2 was made difficult by the sudden downpour before the start, but it was an improvement for them both. Josh did well to secure 7th place and score more points, and he benefited from some useful development work in morning warm-up. Karel was able to cure the electronic problems from Saturday, lapping consistently as the track changed. He was also able to score a point in 15th, so overall it was good to secure both bikes in the points.”