Josh Brookes avoided a quickshifter disaster to secure a front row start on the McAMS Yamaha as he targets much-needed wins to kick-start his Bennetts British Superbike championship charge.

The 2015 BSB champion narrowly missed out on his first pole position in the series since the same round last year by just 0.081s to Be Wiser Ducati’s Glenn Irwin despite battling an issue with his quickshifter throughout qualifying which resulted in his McAMS Yamaha squad swapping his ECU between Q2 and the pole position shootout.

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“My quickshifter stopped working in the first qualifying and we changed the ECU setting thinking it was a fault with that,” Brookes said. “But in Q2 it was still there so we panicked and changed the unit on the bike but we went out in Q3 and it was still there. We’ve still got an underlying problem but the guys I work with are clever and they’ll work it out.”

Brookes, a 10-time race winner around the Brands Hatch GP circuit, has been content with the progress made with his McAMS Yamaha as he hunts his first win of the year after a difficult start to 2018.

“Practice hasn’t gone as perfectly as we’d like when we tried a few things which moved us a bit forward then a bit back,” he said. “We were a bit worried before qualifying as there was some concern we wouldn’t have the speed that we were expecting.

“I’ve done a 24.8s in race conditions with a full tank, it’s a lot harder to ride the bike at the start of the race but when the full load goes down your tyres are past their best. It feels like it is stopping good and turning okay but I seem to be spinning the tyre and not having the grip we are used to.”

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