The Paul Bird Motorsport-run Be Wiser Ducati team has apologised to Josh Brookes after mechanical issues consigned him to a double DNF in the opening round of the 2019 Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Silverstone, with the eagerly-anticipated debut of the new Ducati Panigale V4 failing to live up to expectations.

A bike that is already enjoying immense success in the World Superbike Championship with 11 wins from 11 races, there were high hopes within the PBM team – and similarly sizeable fears from rivals – the bike would prove similarly dominant on British soil.

However, after a competitive showing in pre-season testing, neither Brookes nor star signing Scott Redding could match the pace of the McAMS Yamaha in the run up to qualifying before both hit problems come race day.

Brookes suffered the lion’s share of the misfortune as technical problems first struck in qualifying to leave him 18thon the grid before gremlins in both races one and two forced him into a double DNF retirement.

“There’s not a lot I can say about today other than it’s obviously disappointing to come away with no points,” the Australian conceded. “I wasn’t alone [though] as Jason O’Halloran was another rider to have strong rides only to come away with two DNFs. That’s the nature of racing and you can have as many good weekends as bad ones so it’s a shame for the whole team that we didn’t finish either race.

“I think we showed the pace we have when everything’s going well, and we’re all motivated to do well as we know what potential we have but sometimes things happen that are out of our control.

“We’ve shown that we’re competitive against the other teams and know there’s plenty more to come so we’ll just forget about this weekend and look ahead to the next one.”.

While Redding landed a podium from the front row in race one to give reason to cheer, a fall in race two compounded a disappointing weekend for the multiple title-winning team.

“It’s hard to know what to say about this having suffered three DNFs and it certainly hasn’t been an ideal start to our season,” said team co-ordinator John Mowatt. “Both riders struggled for rear grip, particularly through the last sector, but Scott rode in race one well and although he was gifted a podium, he rode intelligently and will have learned a lot.

“He learned more in race two and now knows that the racing in BSB is incredibly close and that there are plenty of elbows out in the first few laps!

“As for Josh, the whole team collectively apologises as two DNFs it isn’t in the nature of the PBM Be Wiser Ducati team but when things were running right, he was very competitive so there’s plenty to build on. We’ll sit down and regroup and now have an important test coming up at Oulton Park which we’ll look to make full use of.”

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