Double Bennetts British Superbike Champion Josh Brookes ended the final pre-season R&G Official Test at Silverstone by setting the pace for the FHO Racing BMW Motorrad team in the damp conditions, as the focus now turns to the opening round at the circuit on Easter weekend (April 7/8/9).
Brookes’ benchmark time was set on the opening day of the test, but the Australian still topped the times on day two in the damper conditions.
Brookes said: “It’s pretty obvious to say that finishing Silverstone on top of the times is pleasing for me, the team and everyone involved. We’ve been focusing mainly on the new engine as it reacts in a different way to the old one. Not that I have much understanding of the old one, but for the mechanics the BMW reacts differently with the new spec engine, so they have to go through a variety of changes to understand better how to set the engine breaking, as well as the throttle with the way it feels as I accelerate out of a turn.
“There are some levels we have worked through to basically make the bike run efficiently and that’s more or less where we’ve spent most effort and time, and it’s those fundamentals of what we have to be able to progress later. So, once we get this work done, and to a point where I’m happy we can then focus on suspension, chassis positions and fine tune the other bits.
“I guess luckily for us and the work we’ve had to do, you can do regardless of the weather and fortunately we’ve been able to make progress on this. We’ve improved the engine braking and the feeling of the throttle in my hand, which must be good, as we’ve gone fastest in what’s been very tricky conditions. As soon as we get some dry track, we can focus on more common changes such as suspension, but during the test we couldn’t really focus on anything else due to the conditions.”
Kyle Ryde was 0.816s adrift of his championship rival onboard the leading LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha after topping the opening two tests ahead of next week’s opening round.
Danny Buchan was third fastest on the timesheets despite crashing out unhurt in the final session of the test, but the SYNETIQ BMW rider’s time from yesterday put him narrowly ahead of McAMS Yamaha’s Jason O’Halloran on combined times.
Peter Hickman completed the top five on the second FHO Racing BMW Motorrad M 1000 RR with Christian Iddon holding sixth on the Oxford Products Racing Ducati.
Danny Kent’s time from the penultimate session moved him into seventh overall as the Lovell Kent Racing Honda team prepare for their debut races next weekend, just ahead of Ryan Vickers on the second LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha.
Honda Racing UK’s Andrew Irwin and Bennetts BSB rookie Tim Neave completed the top ten for McAMS Yamaha.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, R&G Official Test, Silverstone, overall combined times: