News 2 May 2023

Brookes banks another BSB win with Oulton race one success

Australian leaves second round of the 2023 championship P2 in standings.

Image: Supplied.

British Superbike Championship (BSB) contender Josh Brookes banked another victory onboard the FHO Racing BMW in race one at Oulton Park and leaves the second round of the series right in the hunt for the top position in the standings.

The opening round of the season at Silverstone saw Brookes emerge with the early points lead thanks to a 3-1-2 scorecard, and he carried that form into the weekend to qualify on pole ahead of the sprint race at round two.

The Australian converted his P1 starting position to win the opening encounter at Oulton Park, leading when the race was red-flagged due to rain on the penultimate lap.

“It was obviously great to take the win, it’s good for all the team, sponsors and partners involved,” said Brookes. “To everyone else it probably looked like I was out at the front having an easy time and controlling the race, but it was actually quite difficult because I was that first rider on track.

“I could see my lap times on my dash and I wasn’t impressed by any means, so I tried to improve as I was expecting an attack from the riders behind me. I had a few moments where the rear would spin and I’d lose some time, so I just focussed on trying to be as methodical as possible and not make any mistakes, not improve the lap time but just maintain it.

“Towards the end with the rain I desperately didn’t want to put my hand up, I could see the rain on the lap before on the visor, then when I came through to Island Bend on the penultimate lap it was red flagged.

“I know it was the only option, but I would have liked to have taken the win over the finish line with the chequered flag. The BMW felt really sweet in the race, but we’re always trying to improve, but in the race we really did hit a sweet spot and it did feel really good to ride.”

Brookes went on to finish sixth in race two before a fifth-place finish in the final bout placed him second in the championship standings leaving Oulton Park, four points back from race three winner Glenn Irwin (BeerMonster Ducati).

“I was happy in morning warm up, it was wet conditions, but we were fastest,” Brookes added. “We made a change to the bike for the first race today after what we learnt yesterday, although it looked perfect in theory, as it turns out during the race it didn’t work for me.

The change wasn’t so bad on its own but in conjunction with the rest of the bike settings, I just didn’t feel at ease and wasn’t able to do the lap times of earlier, which meant we suffered and didn’t get the results we’d hoped for.

“For the final race the only real option we had was to go back to where we were, which meant the bike was as good as it was in race one, but I feel that maybe our rivals had moved forward a little, not much, but a little. So even though I did better lap times for myself, I wasn’t able to fight for the podium. It was such a small margin, and I was close to the lead group, but just wasn’t able to bridge that gap or make a pass.”