Josh Brookes was relieved after recovering from another poor qualifying session to claim two top-ten finishes at Thruxton.
The Australian was forced to start on the fourth row after failing to make it into Q3 on Sunday, but recovered in wet conditions to finish ninth in race one. Brookes' strong pace gave him a spot on the second row for the start of race two, and the Relentless Suzuki rider converted it into sixth position.
Despite being only 11th in the BSB standings, Brookes is just 20 points away from the top six and a place in the championship showdown and he still feels that is a realistic objective.
“Obviously starting from 14th was not the ideal preparation for today’s races. But we did make it up to ninth in race one with the seventh fastest lap and took sixth in race two with the fifth fastest lap, so we are improving. I’ve now got to go away and look to see where we are losing out, as this time last year I was winning races. We’ll keep circulating and remain positive, and as long as we are in the top six by the end of round nine – then the job’s a dream. I’ll take a break now and head over to the TT for a few days.”
Team manager Phillip Neill believes the pace of the GSX-R1000 showed that a place in the top six is certainly achievable, and hopes to make up further ground at Knockhill in three weeks.
“It was a very difficult day for everyone and what really hurt Josh was his lowly qualifying position and maybe being a little bit tentative in the early laps. His lap times were comparable to the fast men but you just can’t do it from that far back. On a positive note we have closed the gap on the top six to 20 points. There’s certainly nothing wrong with the bike or the rider; it’s just taken a little longer getting Josh used to the GSX-R1000 and those two big crashes at the start of the year lost us some momentum.”