Josh Brookes expects a step up in performance with his Anvil Hire Yamaha after topping the combined times on Friday’s practice session at Oulton Park ahead of the MCE British Superbike Showdown.

The 2015 BSB champion, who trails leader Shane Byrne by 10 points going into the Showdown, went quickest in FP2 thanks to a late lap of 1m 34.557s to dart clear of fellow top six contender Jake Dixon on the RAF Reserves Kawasaki.

With Byrne and second place rider in the standings Leon Haslam further down the order, in 11th and fifth respectively after FP2, Brookes sees the Oulton Park round as a key opportunity to close the gap on the top two in the hunt of the BSB title.

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“I struggled at the round here earlier in the year and you can’t be in that position, you have to be on the game in every session and every race,” Brookes said. “We have made progress today and that is not a surprise as a lot has happened since we were here earlier in the year and we have made improvements.

“I am quite happy with the progress we have made and I don’t feel that my laps today were as tidy as they could have been so there is definitely more to come. To be that close to the lap record and know we still have improvements to make is a comforting sign."