Josh Brookes is adamant he can make the step up to the top this weekend if he and his Milwaukee Yamaha squad can solve its problems with the R1 machine.

The Australian rider ended the morning practice session quickest but as his rivals found gradual improvements he slipped down to third behind PBM Kawasaki's Shane Byrne and timesheet topper Michael Laverty on the Tyco BMW.

Brookes explains while his team has started to find answers to stop the YZF-R1 from wheeling while accelerating, he has lost some of the front end feeling which he was comfortable with.

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"We have to come up with something sensible for tomorrow," Brookes declared. "If we can get the steering that I am used to, and the knowledge we have now to stop the wheelie, we can put together a package for tomorrow it will work out.

"If I can get that feeling from the front end and the acceleration of the corners that I have achieved in FP2, we will probably be half a second better than my fastest time straight away and then we would be P1 at the moment."

In the tightly-contested MCE British Superbike field just half a second separates Laverty in first down to James Westmoreland in ninth after the chequered flag fell on the afternoon practice session at Brands Hatch.

Brookes, who sits third in the BSB championship, has finished on the podium in nine out of ten races this season but is yet to claim a maiden victory on the new R1 and is certain he can aim for the win if the bike's setup problems are solved.