News 13 Jul 2016

Mixed showing for Brookes in Laguna Seca debut

Australian gains first experience at iconic US circuit.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

Milwaukee BMW’s Josh Brookes experienced a mixed weekend during the Laguna Seca round of the 2016 Motul World Superbike Championship, in what was his first visit to the iconic Californian venue.

The reigning British champion qualified in 15th position and then raced to 13th in Saturday’s opening encounter, picking up important points aboard the S 1000 RR in the back-half of the season.

“The result in Superpole wasn’t what I was hoping for,” Brookes explained. “After we’d gone quicker in Free Practice 3 I expected us to take a step forward for qualifying, but I could only manage to do the same lap times, which hurt us going into the race.

“I didn’t get a great start in race one. I got my position wrong for turn one and lost some places, but after that I was able to fight and move forwards for a few laps. I felt positive, but I knew that I was riding on the limit and I made a mistake which caused me to run wide and lose a few places.

“It was a shame that I couldn’t make progress from there, but I used the race to learn more about the track and about the bike. The lap times are definitely there and I think in tomorrow’s race we can make good progress for sure.”

Race two was shortlived for Brookes however, crashing at turn two, remounting and then ultimately exiting the race. It ended his weekend early, but he was a fan of the unique Laguna Seca layout.

“I got a much better start in race two, despite the confusion with the lights, which caught everyone out,” he added. “I managed to settle into the pack around me and was keeping up with their pace.

“Then on the run into turn two I carried too much speed in trying to keep up with the guys ahead and I dropped the bike. I picked it up and was ready to finish the race, but I noticed some of the fairing was hanging off and when I got back to the garage we decided it was safest to retire the bike.

“It was a shame to end the weekend like that, but I’ve enjoyed riding Laguna Seca for the first time and we were able to test a few new things. There’s a long break before the next round at Lausitz in Germany, so we’ll be using that time to prepare and make sure we can deliver strong results.”

Brookes travelled to Japan directly following the US round, currently testing with the Yoshimura Suzuki team ahead of this month’s Suzuka 8 Hours round of the Endurance World Championship.