Josh Brookes reviews Aragon WorldSBK
Josh Brookes and the Milwaukee BMW Team are still coming to grips with the challenges that moving from their British Superbike Championship winning YZF-R1M to the BMW S 1000 RR for their tilt at the 2016 World Superbike Championship.
The main problems have been in trying to successfully map the throttle response and power delivery characteristics to give the 32-year-old the confidence to push the machine to the limit. The problem is not that the machine is too responsive, but in fact the opposite, as when Brookes calls for instant torque to be delivered to the rear wheel, underlying computer algorithms are softening the response too far.
With only three race meetings under their belt however Brookes believes they have been making significant progress.
Brookes is currently 15ht in the Championship with 20 points to his name.
The highest performing BMW rider thus far this season has been Jordi Torres who has 53-points to his name. While BMW’s reigning IDM Superbike Champion Markus Reiterberger has 31-points on his tally. Brookes does however have eight more points than his Milwaukee BMW teammate Karel Abraham.
Josh took a pair of 13th place finishes at Aragon and is hopeful of top-ten finishes when the series heads to Assen on the weekend of April 15-17.
“We had a loose earth connection in the wiring harness and that caused so kind of electrical spike that created a fault in the ECU. This happened on the first lap of practice. I was able to ride it to the pit but by the time all was realised and corrected there was only 7-min left in the session so FP1 unfortunately saw us have no productive time on the bike.
“From that point to the end of qualifying we tried the usual set-up steps to suit the circuit, but for me the bike is still a long way from having a good feeling that I can race with. So for race one some bigger changes were made, giving me more control at the throttle (less electric assistance), and reverting back to last years fork setting, as I still can’t improve the lap time with the latest forks.
“Both races felt like an improvement but we will only know for sure when we arrive at Assen and see how it performs there.”
Shaun Muir, Team Principal
“Overall we have made a step forward since Thailand. Both riders lost an hour of Friday’s sessions with a crash and technical issue, and that hurt us badly come Superpole and race days. We leave Aragon with four finishes, albeit not as high as we hoped, but the main positive is that we have a solid starting point for Assen. The results from Aragón show that with a little overall improvement in a few areas, the ability to be in the pack from 5th to 12th is there for both Karel and Josh. That’s the short term target, and we will do our very best to get there.”