‘Room for improvement’ despite margin, insists Brookes

Josh Brookes puts 0.7s between himself and his rivals on day one at Oulton Park but insists there is still 'room for improvment' 
‘Room for improvement’ despite margin, insists Brookes

Josh Brookes insists there is still ‘room for improvement’ ahead of qualifying for round two of the 2019 Bennetts British Superbike Championship, despite opening up a sizeable 0.7s margin over his rivals at Oulton Park in free practice.

The 2015 BSB champion arrives in Cheshire on the recovery trail after a fraught debut weekend aboard the all-new Paul Bird Motorsport prepared Ducati Panigale V4 R at Silverstone, where technical issues consignined him to the sidelines in each race.

Nonetheless, after producing a timesheet-topping performance at Oulton Park last week during testing, Brookes continued to hold position as the Bank Holiday race weekend kicked off in FP1 and FP2.

Stopping the clock at 1m 34.321s, Brookes ended the day a full seven tenths clear of second place man Danny Buchan. Nevertheless, despite his advantage at the chequered flag, Brookes expects to go substantially quicker in the fight for pole position on Sunday.

“It has been a good day,” he said. “I am not surprised with the lap time because I’ve been there before, or close to that. The fastest I’ve been here before was actually in a race and I did 34.4, which is a lap record, so to do 34.3 is a PB, which is great. But Jake Dixon did 33.7 last year so there’s still areas to gain and still room to improve.

"At the moment I know that the bike’s not perfect, there’s definitely more edge grip to be found because I had it in this morning but we’ve gained a load of drive grip so I’ve got to decide which way is better.

“To go in search of more edge grip or ride with the bike as it is and work on other little details and see if that helps, so that’s where we’re at."