Second row start at Silverstone for Brookes
Anvil Hire Yamaha’s Josh Brookes will start this afternoon’s opening race from fourth, and at the head of the second row following a solid qualifying session for the Bringelly man, with team mate Shaun Winfield lining up in 24th, after posting his fastest lap of the weekend in dry conditions.
Following yesterday’s wet free practice sessions, both Brookes and Winfield enjoyed a successful final free practice session, with the 2015 Champion topping the sheets.
As the lights went out to the signal the start of the three tier session, Brookes put his head down and quickly posted a time strong enough to send him straight into Q2.
Winfield quickly improved on his fastest lap of the weekend, and after mid-session changes he improved further in time by over half a second, posting a 2:09.955.
Q2 got underway with Brookes, as always, first out on track, and straight away improved in time again, posting a 2:05.2, sending him straight into the final session, the eight minute dash for pole.
Q3 saw the Aussie improve in time once again, lapping the 3.6 mile circuit in 2:05.1, and he held third position until the dying seconds where he was pushed back to fourth, and the head of the second row by James Ellison.
Following the session, Brookes said: “We need to be quicker, we’re looking at the bike to try and improve, I can only do the best I can with the tools that I have. I have to look to the bike but I get frustrated that we have to make a change to the bike to make the lap time. It would be nice to turn up and not have to make lots of changes, and just fine tune things.
“We aren’t far away if I’m honest, I was fastest in FP3 which was a good sign but we need to make another step now and I’m looking towards the bike, which is frustrating. The bike isn’t miles away, it looks like it may rain which is making me nervous because that adds another element to the story.
“There’s a lot at risk at the moment with the Championship so it’s important to get good results, then with the rain coming in and the changes we need to make it’s a stressful environment.
“My head at the moment is focussed on making the bike better, it may not be a difficult race, if it stays dry then then I’ve got a good chance of winning and if it rains it’s a lottery, but we’ll have to see what the weather does.”
A pleased Shaun Winfield said: “I’m feeling good ahead of the race really, we changed a couple of things and I went out on my own and put in my personal best lap time, which I’m pleased with because I was riding around on my own without anyone to chase down.
“Hopefully in the race I can get away with the guys ahead of me and get my head down, at the moment it’s just started raining so we don’t know what is going to happen, but I’ll have my elbows out and head down from the start.”
Race one gets underway at 4:00, as the Showdown deciders kick off.