The Milwaukee Yamaha team head to Donington Park this weekend (4/5/6 April) for the opening round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship with both Josh Brookes and Broc Parkes eager to get the season underway with the next generation YZF-R1s.
The Australian pairing have already been working at the recent pre-season tests on making initial steps forward with the much-anticipated new model, culminating in the official test at the circuit last week.
Brookes returns with the team ready to build on his previous title-contending experiences.
"At the moment I can see that the first round is going to be really close as at the test there were a lot of riders able to run very similar lap times, but that is the typical nature of Donington; we have seen in the past in qualifying that everyone is really close together." Brookes said.
"At the moment we have to focus on Donington and what we learnt from the test last week and have that as a priority for the first round. After that we can look at the rest of the season, get some more time on the new bike and use the experience to move forward and keep improving."
This weekend will be a new challenge for former World Supersport title runner-up Parkes, who previously scored an impressive brace of podium finishes in 2009 as a wild-card at Brands Hatch.
"The test with everyone else was good to see where we were at and I think it was a pretty good indication." Parkes commented. "I was hoping to be in the top ten at the test and I was just outside of it, but not too far on the times. In general I think we will come back with a good plan for the first race.
"It is definitely going to be an experience for me at the first round as I haven't raced with many of the riders. There are a lot of young riders who want to make a name for themselves and we know the first round will be the most difficult for us. It is hard to know what to expect ‰ÛÒ but I am normally more of a racer, so I am hoping that we will be ready on race day."