‘It is bet­ter to have led and lost than to have never led at all’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport -

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.”

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