Josh Brookes felt he was unable to produce the optimum race pace in his opening stint due to tyre trouble as his Yoshimura Suzuki squad claimed the final spot on the podium in the Suzuka 8 Hours.
The World Superbike rider teamed up with Takuya Tsuda and Noriyuki Haga at Suzuka and despite continually battling inside the top five the trio were underwhelmed by the result after missing out to Team Green Kawasaki for second place in the closing stages.
After being promoted to third thanks to the factory Honda's retirement at the end of the third hour, Haga was involved in an intense battle with Kawasaki's Leon Haslam during the middle stint of the race, while Brookes narrowly lost out to the British rider in the final stint in the duel for second place behind winners Yamaha Factory Racing.
Brookes says taking a risk on the softer tyre in his first stint didn't produce the expected returns and speed which curtailed his team's progress over the opening stages.
“I choose the soft tyre like nobody else in the first stint, because the track temperature was higher than the test and the race week,” Brookes said. “I couldn't show the expected performance and I almost crashed three times; I couldn't increase the machine's pace.
“I choose the hard tyre in the next stint, but choose the soft tyre in the last. I feel sorry that I was not able to contribute more to the team.”
Haga has thanked Tsuda and Brookes for their recovery effort after he lost out to Haslam during the middle stint duel, while Suzuki's winless run at Suzuka continues with its last victory coming back in 2009.
“I was separated by Kawasaki because of my stint and I feel this is the cause we weren't able to get second place. But Takuya and Josh made up for it. I'm grateful for their help.”
Brookes will return to competitive action in World Superbikes with Miwaukee BMW in September at the Lausitzring after the championship's extended summer break.