Day one dominator Josh Brookes has revealed he isn’t yet perfectly happy with his Be Wiser Ducati and is still searching for speed.
And despite ending today’s practice quickest with almost half a second to spare over team-mate Scott Redding, the former champ says he is struggling to find the right setup as he looks for the missing 0.742s which separates his fastest time today and his lap record from 2017.
“It goes without saying I’m happy to be fastest, but surprisingly I’m not pleased with the bike,” Brookes admitted to Bikesport News. “It’s confidence inspiring that we’ve got a good time to top the sheets, there’s still areas for the bike to improve and we’ve not run out of ideas for what could potentially make the bike work really well.
“I feel like I can’t enter the corners as fast and confidently as I like. We made a change and it kind of helped but then I started tearing up the front tyre, so it’s obviously a compromise.
“I’m struggling to keep the bike steering well and really getting the apexes I know should be achievable. But it’s hard to gauge because I think the track is really dirty after all the rain during the week with the bike not being on rails.
“It’s sort of a negative day with what the bike was doing, but hey maybe the grip just wasn’t there. It’s all relative, we just have to bear that in mind. Maybe the track conditions were the reason for the bike not performing to my standard.
Brookes enters this weekend as the most successful rider at Brands Hatch GP currently on the grid with 13 wins in the last decade – only Shane Byrne has more at the Kent track since 2009.
But the Aussie insists he’s not relying on past successes to get him through the weekend.
“I can’t rely on that, I’m certainly aware of it. I try and use any confidence to boost my chances, but I’ve still got to get out there and do the job.
“Just because you come to a track that you like and that you’ve had good results at, doesn’t guarantee you a result. We’ve still got to keep focused and try and make the best of track time we have.”