Josh Brookes has struggled to get to grips with the Crescent Fixi Suzuki after being drafted into the team as a replacement for injured American John Hopkins.

Brookes, who will ride for the Tyco Suzuki TAS Racing team in the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship this season, was languishing in 21st position after two days of testing at Phillip Island in preparation for the World Superbike Championship opener this weekend.

And the Australian native, who opened up an old wound following a crash on the opening day of the test, made his disappointment clear after a difficult few days on the GSXR1000.

"I am disappointed not to be further up the order, but I guess that's only to be expected when you consider that today was only my third day on the bike and my third day with the team. I always knew that jumping on this bike wasn't going to be easy and that's the way it has been," said Brookes.

"We've progressed for sure, but I would've liked more progress, more quickly. These tests have been mentally draining, because there's so much to take in, and I want to thank the whole Crescent Fixi Suzuki crew for all their hard work and patience.

"I'm a little sore from my crash yesterday, when I hit my hip quite hard and opened up an old scar. I had four stitches, but I can honestly say that the crash has had no effect on my riding today. At the moment my biggest problem are the bumps and so we've being doing a lot of work to get the GSXR to absorb the bumps and stay stable. Once we've done that, I'll be able to go a lot faster for sure."

Jack Valentine, Crescent Fixi Suzuki team boss, expects a difficult weekend ahead but remains convinced Brookes will be able to up the ante during the course of practice and qualifying on Friday and Saturday.

"Josh is definitely improving every time out and although there's still work to be done I am confident that he can do it," he said. "The weekend ahead is going to be tough, but I'd be more than happy with some solid performances and some top six finishes."

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