Reigning champion Josh Brookes had another difficult weekend at Thruxton for the latest round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship, claiming just two points from the three races at the Hampshire circuit.
Traditionally it has proved to be a happy hunting ground for the Australian, but the weekend marked the VisionTrack Ducati team’s worst event of the season so far, with a best result of 14th position in race three, to follow a 17th and 16th place in the first two races of the weekend.
Speaking after race three, Brookes said: “I’m upbeat. I felt like I rode really good in that race. You get those indicators, the front is going and the rear is sliding, you’re doing all the things that feel good when you’re at the front and you’re pushing the limit. I was doing all the stuff I usually do, just not in the television audiences’ view.
“I feel good in myself. I just need to keep reporting the information back and eventually something will have to change. I think if you continue to do the same thing the same way hoping for a different result it’s not really the right way of working. Hopefully, if I keep giving the right information back, we’ll get some change. We’ll see how we go as the rounds go on.
“On corner entry the rear doesn’t really grip the track that well. If you think 80% of the braking is happening with front wheel and maybe 20% is coming from the rear, then I have lost 20% of my efficiency going into a corner because the rear isn’t helping the front.
“And this changes between sessions; obviously we increase engine braking, decrease engine braking stuff like that, trying to find a setting. And then as I get to the middle of the corner and lean it over, normally the sensation you feel is the tyres get grip and the suspension loads into the tyres, and you can use that captive energy to accelerate out of the turn. But I just get a chattery feeling and the bike just skips away mid-corner. And here especially, it was just spinning.
“As I come out of the turn, I go to accelerate with the other riders I’m around and the rear’s just spinning, spinning, spinning. It’s quite a difficult situation to understand exactly where the problems are. As the rider, my duty is to ride the bike and give the information back and hopefully at some point the information they collect with the data or the comments I make will unearth a change that will bring us forward.”
Johnny Mowatt, Team Co-ordinator added: “We need to regroup and come back fighting at Donington, even more so on Josh’s side of the garage. He’s struggled all weekend and we need to get to the bottom of the issues as soon as we possibly can as reaching the top eight and the Showdown positions is getting further out of reach with every weekend.”