BSB

Josh Brookes Plays It Safe and Smart At BSB Opening Round

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The Milwaukee Yamaha team celebrated their first podium finish of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship season at the opening round at Donington Park today (Monday) as Josh Brookes proved the capability of the next generation YZF-R1 with a third place.

In the opening race of the weekend Brookes fought with Dan Linfoot (Honda) on the closing laps to snatch the position to the line after carving his way through the pack. For Broc Parkes it was a tough opening race with the Australian finishing the opening race in 16th position.

In race two Brookes was again fighting with the leading pack, however as Ryuichi Kiyonari (BMW) crashed out in front of him he was forced to take evasive action. Brookes held the Milwaukee Yamaha across the grass and rejoined, but dropped drastically down the order. A strong run of consistent fast laps but Brookes back up into sixth position and holding fourth in the overall standings.

"We've been in and out of the pits all weekend and all through testing trying to fast track the learning of the bike - for me as a rider to learn the bike." Brookes explained.

"I purposely didn't ride the first few laps too hard in race one, because there was a lot of testosterone going on! I was all the way back, and it wasn't an ideal situation - but I wanted to make sure I put a strong race together and not fade off at the end.

"I maintained my focus, kept looking at my own lap times and just keeping them steady. I picked away at a few other riders, and made it up through to third. We're obviously expecting the bike to improve as the year goes on, but to put it on the podium at the first round is testament to what Yamaha have done with a brand new model.

"After race one we considered making changes, but we decided to stick with the set-up ‰ÛÒ we had a bike that was working and I went about trying to ride smoothly. It felt better and I was able to go with the front guys, but then Kiyo crashed right in front of me.

"I had to brake hard and stand the bike up to avoid him. Once I was back on the track, among the other guys who were racing on, with dirty tyres, I took it easy into the chicane and then had a battle to come back.

"I was pleased because when I rejoined I was nine seconds down, but by the end of the race I was four and a half seconds down so I did a good job. I‰Ûªm pleased with what we did, it was just the circumstances ‰ÛÒ Kiyo came and apologised to me as he does, and I am just glad that I didn‰Ûªt hit him. Now we go onto Brands Hatch and will take it from there."

Parkes was determined to make improvements for the second race, but he crashed out at Goddards.

"I didn‰Ûªt have the best of starts to the season." Parkes admitted. "I had a problem in race one when I only had half the handle bar grip so I just had to ride and couldn‰Ûªt do anything about it.

"I had better pace in the second race, but lost the front into Goddards. I ran a bit shallow into the last corner and just lost the front.

"It is just so disappointing not to get any points today. I have to try and make up for it next time out at Brands Hatch which in the past had been a good circuit for me. I hope to be strong there as things just didn‰Ûªt work out here today."

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