BROOKES LEADS THEN LOSES IT
‘It is better to have led and lost than to have never led at all’
Leaving BSB racing as champions in 2015 to enter WSB in 2016 the Milwaukee team, and their top BSB dog Josh Brookes, took on a lot when swapping Yamaha for BMW power.
A notoriously tricky bike to master, if very powerful, the S1000RR has been the playing piece in a game of mid-ranking snakes and ladders for both team and rider. Having another BMW team - Althea - with more WSB and BMW experience in its ranks as direct opponents has not been easy either, but at Assen it was the Milwaukee bikes that showed the way – at least for a while.
Given a wet track in race two, at a track he knows well from his time in BSB and with no shortage of bravado and skill, Brookes wowed the paddock with his push in the first part of race two which saw his scythe from 14th on the grid into the lead.
It was a top performance until he came in for dry tyres after which a mistake on lap 13 saw him fall and he was unable to restart.
As the man himself said: “We needed something like this to give everyone in the team a boost. It is better to have led and lost than to have not led at all!”
Brookes is unsure of exactly why he fell but who could have bet against him had it stayed wet? “Either I touched some water I could not see or the tyre just wasn’t ready for the speed I was taking in with the brake pressure,” said Brookes of his crash.
There were some more general steps forward for Brookes at this round, shown by his impressive fifth place in morning warm up.
“On Saturday I had confidence for the race but I just chose the wrong tyre,” he said, ruefully. “That was almost a disaster itself. In warm-up it reconfirmed that we had a good setting, as I was fifth. In the wet on Friday I was struggling a lot when normally in the wet I am one of the better ones so to go so well today in the wet is a direct link to what we have changed on the bike. I am hoping this is a sign of things to come.”