Josh Brookes says he never expected to be as quick as he was during qualifying at Assen and heaps praise on his Milwaukee Yamaha squad for providing him with the tools to break the 1m 36s barrier on his way to pole position.

The MCE British Superbike championship leader has topped every session at round ten in the Netherlands and looks in ominous form after clinching pole with a 1m 35.971s, over 0.35 seconds faster than his nearest rival James Ellison.

The Australian says he built upon his experiences at Assen riding the new Yamaha R1 earlier this year while acting as a stand in for Team Yamaha MGM in the IDM German Superbike championship, but admits he didn't believe he could duck into the high 1m 35s times.

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"I was quite confident after I rode here earlier in the year in the IDM German championship bike," Brooke said. "We were doing 1m 36s laps but for that championship there is a slightly higher specification tyre, so I knew I'd be confident but didn't expect to be that fast.

"I have to give the credit to Ian [Collier, chassis mechanic] and Stewart [Winton, Brookes' crew chief], they are the brains behind the crew, and what was already a well-handling and well-prepared bike has stepped up again for me today. We've been able to improve the lap time even further so I'm really pleased for the Milwaukee Yamaha crew and to have such a great bike."

Brookes will now be looking to convert his strong pace into wins to extend his lead in the BSB championship, which currently stands at two points ahead of Shane Byrne. Despite his confidence in his race pace, Brookes is slightly hesitant to make predictions with unsettled weather blighting the race weekend.

"Tomorrow I can't be too confident as there are loads of cloud hanging about which could completely change things but I just want to get on and do my job which is to win," he said.