Having been called-up at the last moment by Crescent Fixi Suzuki, following John Hopkins' hand injury, Josh Brookes began the process of adapting the American's GSX-R1000 to his own liking on Wednesday.
It proved a bigger task than Brookes had expected, with the Australian 16th out of the 18 riders present on the third and final day of testing, but he still has two days of official testing on Monday and Tuesday before the race weekend begins.
“It's been more difficult than I thought because the set-up of John's bike is very different to what I am used to,” said Brookes. “It's not easy just rocking up and riding somebody else's bike and I started by trying to use John's settings.
“They didn't work for me, so we started to make changes and were getting there by the end of the day. I am pretty confident about the front end, but not so happy with the rear yet. That's been the biggest problem today, but all the things we've tried will stand us in good stead in the tests next week.”
With Hopkins 'unlikely' to return for the race weekend, Brookes is set to line-up alongside Leon Camier for Crescent's first race as a full-time WSBK team.
“It is unlikely that John will be fit enough to ride next week so, if that is the case, Josh will take part in the official tests and the races,” confirmed Crescent team manager Jack Valentine. “He certainly knows his way round this place and I think it's good for Suzuki, our sponsors and the fans that we have two riders out there for the first round of the championship.”
Brookes, who will again race for TAS Suzuki in BSB this year, is a former WSS race winner at Phillip Island.
Camier was eleventh fastest on the final day of unofficial testing.