Joshua Brookes has declared himself happy with his ViSK.com British Superbike Championship debut at Oulton Park after hitting the track less than two days after arriving in the country.
Although the Australian rider has participated in pre-season testing with the HM Plant Honda team, the last-minute acceptance of his visa application left him with barely any time to mentally prepare for his debut around one of the calendar's most challenging circuits.
Nonetheless, despite an understandably conservative start to the weekend, Brookes qualified inside the top ten and enjoyed a good battle with Gary Mason, Jason O'Halloran and Chris Walker to finish in the same position at the end of his maiden outing.
With a full race under his belt, Brookes put in a more confident performance for race two and was running on the cusp of the top five when he was forced to retire with a misfire.
Getting close to fulfilling his objectives, Brookes was pleased with the rate of progress made over the weekend.
“I hit a bit of a stumbling block in race one,” he told Crash.net Radio
. “I was in a group and I dropped back really quickly and I didn't feel like I could put on a good show. But we came back from there and we went to a softer front tyre and we made the rear shock slightly firmer, so we got out in race two with a clear head I felt like a new guy out there.
“It was just a bit disappointing not to finish the race. Overall, I would have been happy to get a top five result from this weekend and I was running sixth when I retired, so I was knocking on the door. I am pretty happy that I got to that area.”
Despite the potentially difficult circumstances surrounding his belated debut in the category, Brookes has hailed the HM Plant Honda team for making his arrival a pleasant experience.
“I am lucky with the team I have,” he added. “It feels like home here because there are no language barriers and everything is very professional. There is pressure to perform, but it was very easy to come here.”