Josh Brookes says leading part of race two at Assen has given his Milwaukee BMW team a useful boost in its World Superbike bow and will look to use it to launch his charge at Imola.
The British Superbike championship-winning combination of Shaun Muir Racing and Brookes made the step up to World Superbikes over the winter switching from Yamaha to BMW machinery.
Despite results not coming immediately in the opening rounds of the squad's debut WSBK year, Brookes says leading in the wet-to-dry conditions at Assen is evidence the team is making significant progress with the development of the S1000RR.
“When we were P5 in morning warm-up I knew the bike could work well, and that we could have a good race,” Brookes said. “I made ground quickly and found myself in the leading group, and I felt really confident to go faster than them. I overtook when I could and as often as possible and I managed to take the lead.”
Unfortunately for the Australian while getting up to speed after pitting for dry tyres he crashed out of the race on his out-lap and as a result missed out on battling for a potential rostrum result behind the Kawasaki duo of Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes.
“The conditions started to change and we did a great tyre change which we timed perfectly,” he said. “I took it easy on the slicks to test the conditions but I hit a wet patch and unfortunately crashed on the out-lap. It was upsetting to go out but it was great to see the progress we've made and to give the team something to cheer for.
“Looking to Imola, it's a track I've enjoyed in the past and I'm confident that we can keep the performance level going up and start challenging regularly.”