Josh Brookes says slipping to 22 points off of the MCE British Superbike championship lead after the opening Showdown round means he can’t afford to drop any further points at the next round at Assen.

The Anvil Hire Yamaha rider grabbed third place in the shortened race one at the Cheshire track but struggling to replicate his earlier front-running pace in the dry race two he had to settle for fifth place.

Coupled with Leon Haslam’s first and second, Brookes has moved up to second place in the BSB standings but lost ground on the leader with 22 points splitting him and the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider.

As a result, Brookes says wins next time out at Assen will be essential to claw back ground on Haslam before the season finale at Brands Hatch.

“The weekend was going well, the bike has been strong most sessions, but with the weather turning and for whatever reason, we're not exactly sure why the bike didn't perform, but I did the best I could in the circumstances that we had,” Brookes said. "I felt like we had a good set up in the rain on Friday morning when it rained, but the bike has moved on in the practices since then, so in the wet I just didn't feel as confident as I needed to be in a better position.

"The second race was dry but the bike didn't perform as it did earlier this weekend so I just rode it to the best I could.

"We're 22 points behind, it's a lot. A 22-point gap is a lot to leave here with and try to make up. For me as a rider myself, I'm not satisfied with the weekend. We need to go to Assen with something better.

"I need to win races at Assen, that's all there is to it. If we're going to win the championship this year the bike has to be right, I have to ride it perfectly every time out, and we have to have a 100% satisfying weekend. That's what we've got to focus on trying to achieve. You try and achieve that every weekend, but that's clearly what needs to happen for us to have a chance."


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