Anticipated title contender Josh Brookes says he is 'fairly happy' with his results from the opening round of the 2013 MCE British Superbike Championship, despite failing to mount a strong victory challenge in either race at Brands Hatch.
The Australian, who finished runner-up to Shane Byrne in last season's championship, heads into 2013 as one of the favourites for this year's crown, but retained a fairly anonymous presence in the run up to the first race by qualifying on the second row in sixth.
Nonetheless, Brookes proceeded to make himself known at the start of race one as a flying start lifted him to third before moves on Alex Lowes and Byrne hauled him into the lead.
However, when Byrne and Lowes re-passed on lap 15 and 16 respectively, Brookes would eventually fade to cross the line third, more than six seconds down the road. It was a performance he then couldn't repeat in race two as he circulated in a fairly lonely fifth from start-to-finish.
Despite the modest results, which saw the Tyco Suzuki man finish outside the top four for only the second time in 27 consecutive starts, Brookes was nevertheless content with his opening efforts.
“I'm fairly happy with the weekend and I don't want to use not having track time as an excuse, as no one really has coming into this round. We worked through with a new set-up on suspension and it wasn't perfect straight away, but by the time we got to race day we were in a good range and the tyre lasted pretty well for us in both races.
“My GSX-R1000 Superbike was running clean and crisp and I don't think we could have got much more out of it. Unfortunately it wasn't enough to secure the results we wanted this weekend, but we will move onto the next round at Thruxton and see how it goes – it's a long season ahead.”