Brookes "can put away doubts" after leading WSBK race
Reigning British Superbike champion Josh Brookes was happy to have led the field in the first half of World Superbikes' Race 2 at Assen, having endured a tough season up to that point.
Despite having started 43 World Superbike races prior the 2016 season, Brookes is currently competing in his first full-time campaign in the series with the Milwaukee BMW team.
And the Australian had a low-key start to the season, his top finish so far only a ninth place.
Having lined up 14th on the grid of Race 2, which started under wet conditions, Brookes made quick progress to lead the way in just five laps.
He continued to be among the frontrunners up until the drying track forced him to pit - and he crashed out soon afterwards.
"When the rain first came down I was a little bit put off because we’d been in P5 in morning warm-up in dry conditions, so when the rain started I was thinking this could be not so easy," said Brookes.
"As it was the changes we made to the bike during the weekend in the dry also made it better in the wet conditions, so I felt like I could go faster and I was thinking I need to move forward.
"I started making passes and it felt very easy. I was confident with the bike and the tyres and it felt natural to ride at that speed."
Different riding style contributing to early struggles
Brookes admitted it took more time to settle in with the team and the BMW bike than anticipated.
"The first part of this year has been so tough for the team and for me. Changing to the World Superbike championship, changing to BMW motorcycles and then incorporating the BMW staff and electronics and all the things that come with WSBK it has actually been quite a big challenge."
"I get great satisfaction that we've come from that low point and pushed our way into the position where we can show we have the capability to do it and if there's any doubt then we can put that away now."
Brookes' different throttle handle compared to fellow BMW teammates has been another obstacle for the Australian.
"It seems like, particularly in the Althea BMW team riders' case [Jordi Torres, Markus Reiterberger], either through their riding style or the confidence in the bike, are very quick to open to a very large percentage of throttle, while my style is to bring the throttle in slowly and find the tyre feeling that I like and then wind the throttle on aggressively," explained Brookes.
"That slow movement of the initial throttle hasn't got the connection feeling and the reaction feeling that I like so that's where the technicians have been working hard to give me that feeling.
"Obviously, initially they were like 'why are we changing to suit one person when others don't notice the problem', but now it's starting to show that maybe there is a benefit to anyone if we can improve the bike in some way as well."
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