Josh Brookes scored a podium finish at TT Circuit Assen during a strong debut in the Superbike*IDM championship last weekend as a replacement rider for Team Yamaha MGM.
With Kev Coghlan unfit to race after a crash at the previous round at Schleizer Dreieck, Team Yamaha MGM went into the seventh round of the International German Championship with Josh Brookes as a solo rider. The Australian leads the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship after riding his YZF-R1 to four consecutive race wins. Last weekend he went on to show the YZF-R1M’s high potential in the IDM challenge, bringing home a trophy after scoring a third and fourth place.
Brookes started the first qualifying on Saturday morning with an extremely fast pace, setting a 1’37.153 lap. He improved this time by 0.659 of a second during the second session and went into Superpole as the fastest rider of the field. The Australian used the ten-minute session as an opportunity to showcase the incredible pace of the YZF-R1M. As Brookes didn’t get a good feeling from the qualifying tyre, he decided to go set his hot lap on a race tyre instead and dropped a time of 1’36.175 for second place on the grid, just 0.043s from pole.
Brookes kept the momentum going on Sunday. Slotting into fourth position at the start for the first 15-lap race, he quickly found his rhythm and fought his way towards the front. He passed Xavi Fores midway through the race in a fight for the remaining podium spot and successfully defended the position as he crossed the line in third place, 1.358s from first.
The second race saw more of the same, Brookes again worked his way up from fourth to third, but this time he was unable to hold the position due to a minor issue with the rear wheel. He continued to fight bravely and took the chequered flag in fourth place, 1.887s from the front.
The eighth and final round will be held at Hockenheimring on September 25-27.
Race 1 – 3, Race 2 – 4
“In the first race I made a small mistake with the lights, because I went so fast, but over the race distance that wasn’t such an important amount of time. I didn’t find the grip and the lap times I had in qualifying. The grip level was not the same and the tyre was spinning a lot, so I couldn’t improve on the third position. I kept pushing until the end and was hoping maybe the front two would be losing some speed at the end of the race, but it was not enough for me to catch them. In the second race I got a bad start. The tyres felt better than during race one so I was able to ride faster. At some point early in the race the rear tyre spun on the rim and a vibration started. I was able to keep pushing for a while but then I couldn’t continue to keep up those lap times so I started to drop back and I couldn’t do anything more.”
|Michael Galinski – Team Yamaha MGM Team Manager
“During the first race we had a small problem with the grip of the rear. Though we didn’t change anything at the suspension from the last practice, we didn’t have the grip we had back then, but it was ok and we got a really solid result. We were happy to be back on the podium and this was a really good thing. In the second race the rear tyre spun a bit on the rim. We don’t know why at the moment and need to look at this again, but this result was ok again. Josh did two great races and we were able to end the weekend without any crashes. We’re now looking forward to the future and Hockenheim, where our permanent riders should be back and we hopefully make it onto the podium again.”