Tricky conditions thwarts Assen Qualifying
Josh Brookes will start tomorrow’s first MCE British Superbike race from eleventh on the grid, after a tough qualifying session in tricky damp conditions at the ‘Cathedral of Speed,’ with a brave, battered and bruised team mate Shaun Winfield qualifying in 27th place
Prior to the three stage Datatag qualifying session, heavy rain fell over the 2.8-mile TT Circuit Assen, forcing the session to be run in tricky wet conditions to determine the grid positions for Sunday’s first race.
Leading the pack out of pit lane Brookes started the first session strongly and chipped away at his times, comfortably making his way into Q2.
After a heavy crash at over 100 miles an hour yesterday morning, Shaun Winfield was declared fit to ride, but unfortunately dropped out at the first time of asking, however the battered and bruised 24-year-old bravely posted a 2:11.5.
Q2 saw Brookes again lead the field out on the track as conditions worsened, he improved in time but his machine developed an electrical issue meaning he couldn’t push as hard as he wanted, qualifying him in eleventh place for Sunday’s first race.
After the session, Josh Brookes said: “We had a front wheel speed sensor not work, we’ve had this issue a few times in the wet, so that is what let us down. We didn’t use the new rear compound, nobody is using it, we’ve not had time to test it properly and the few people that have used it haven’t gone any better. I did try it this morning but the track was dry so there’s no comparison.
“Starting eleventh is not good enough, it’s absolutely not good enough so we need to get the bike right tonight and do what we can tomorrow, but the plan is always to win.”
Team mate Shaun Winfield added: “This weekend hasn’t gone to plan at all, after my crash yesterday I was told to sit out the afternoon session on medical grounds, which set me back because I lost out on track time. It was the right thing to do but as a racer you hate sitting on the side lines.
“The wet session did help me in qualifying, but I’m still very stiff and sore on the bike, I’m struggling with my movements but it’s not going to stop me. I’ll have physio again in the morning to help the stiffness and I’ll be pushing as hard as I can in both races.
“I’ve got to say a massive thank you to my boys, yesterday they worked around the clock to get my bike rebuilt and if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be going out, and the BSB medics and marshals who helped me yesterday.”