20 April 2014
Josh Brookes chats with Crash.net about his move to Yamaha machinery in his efforts to secure that elusive BSB title in 2014.
How is it the new team?
I don't notice a big difference in the teams as regards how the mechanics work, they're both top class. The TAS team did have that strong family feel though and I miss them as friends, but both teams are professional and friendly.
At Suzuki though I felt as if I was riding beyond the limit of what the bike could do and wasn't really getting the response that they would give me more and instead they seemed to be asking me for more when I was maxed out. I was able to win races but riding at that limit meant that I couldn't win championships.
After all the years at TAS I was looking for hopes and promises that things were going to get better but after 3 years you can see a pattern so I made my move. Up to then I hadn't felt as if the Yamaha had been ridden to its full potential so that was an obvious place to go.
Another difference is team mates, I was a interested to see how I'd get on with Tommy as he's such a distinctive guy but in the event we got on pretty well and it was scary how alike we were. I also felt that he had a similar bad boy image to me and was pretty outspoken.
The first days, weeks and months have been rather like coming to a new school and we're still settling down, we're still finding our way.
I'm definitely enjoying the bike though and the mechanics are first class
You're currently testing in 2nd but is there any more to come?
I think so because I haven't got anywhere near the feeling that I've got everything out of the bike that there is. At Suzuki I felt that we'd absulutely maximised my potential on the bike and were always looking for performance that wasn't there. So here, given that we haven't got to that point yet and we're already fast, I think that we can get more.
How are you getting on with the cross plane crank Yamaha?
I'd never ridden a Yamaha before so in the off season people were saying that it was a bit different, maybe a bit odd and that the bike might not suit me. It seemed to be a bike that really attracted those kind of comments and I was thinking, what if I don't get on with the bike?
So when I approached the bike I was maybe a bit apprehensive but those feelings were extinguished probably within is few hundred yards of riding the bike.
The first thing I noticed about it was the ride by wire throttle, the feeling was quite unique and you felt as if it wasn't quite connected to the motor, it felt like a soft mode on a road bike. The second thing I noticed was the neat sound the motor makes, when you open the throttle it makes a wonderful roar. After that though I felt right at home, it wasn't set up perfectly as I like it but I felt comfortable on it with a few hundred meters.
What are you working on in testing?
Well, particularly today we're working on corner entry, it's just backing in a bit too much. But in general we're there or there abouts and we're just tweaking systems.
Does the bike's history of mechanical failures concern you?
It's really something I try not to think about because I've got my area of reposibility and expertise and I'm not responsible for that side of the bike. Everybody's doing the best they can and I have to trust the team about that. You always need a certain amount of luck to win a championship anyway.
I certainly wouldn't throw the toys out of the pram if we had a mechanical because I know they're doing their best.
James Ellison was often saying that the Kawasaki could leave the Yamaha behind when coming out of corners, do you feel that?
I definitely noticed that on the Suzuki but the Yamaha seems better matched to the Kawasaki than the Suzuki so that's not such a big concern.
Is BSB a job you have to get done?
Yeah, definitely. When I first came to BSB it was the life line that kep me racing and I definitely feel grateful for that, but it wasn't my first choice. Now though it's become like a target that has to be achieved before moving onto the next step. It's something I need to achieve so that I can feel satisfied and move on.
I always like to achieve what I set myself.
Are your TT plans now on track?
Yeah, everythings now fine.
Last year I didn't know if I was going to be good at it or not and it has to be said that there are moments when I was a bit scared of the unknown. I was also scared that I might be slow, I think in a way I was scared of failure. But luckily Things went well so I don't feel worried about going back.
I think a lot of that was homework because I'd done over 100 laps of the circuit before going there. When I look at Danny Web and Martin Jessop I do feel that they might be underprepared.
BSB is still my target and goal though with the TT being a wonderful side project and BSB is a target I intend to achieve.
Thanks for that Josh, it;s always great to talk with you.
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