The first round of the 2015 MCE British Superbike Championship gets underway tomorrow at Donington Park and the Milwaukee Yamaha team are raring to go.
Both Josh Brookes and Broc Parkes made it into the top-10 shoot-out in qualifying earlier on today, qualifying in fourth and eighth places respectively.
Brookes was competitive through all three qualifying sessions and was only knocked off the front-row in the closing stages by reigning champion, Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne.
The Australian’s lap-time of 1:29.725 was only 0.270s behind pole position man, Ryuichi Kiyonari, but Brookes still believes there is room for improvement tomorrow.
Brookes said: “It’s difficult to say how much we’ve improved – the bike was quite good in FP1 and I thought by FP3 we would do more, but that has not really been the case. We have key problems to address but it is all about understanding the bike; I want to go quicker and that is what we are all working to do. There is more to work on and we have to achieve that.
“For me, it does not feel like me out on the track and I hope to put something much stronger together for the races. I wanted top four in qualifying so in one respect I have achieved what I set out to do, but there are still a few things we need to decide for the races and I a fairly confident we can build a strong bike for the start of the race.”
It was a much more challenging day for Parkes, with the former Moto GP rider crashing at Redgate at the beginning of Q1 before suffering with problems with the Yamaha R1 in Q2.
Despite these issues Parkes made it through to Q3 and his lap-time of 1:30.368 was enough to put him eighth on the grid, less than a second off Kiyonari’s pole position time.
After qualifying, Parkes now believes that with a few changes overnight he can challenge those at the front of the grid.
He said: “Considering I crashed on the first flying lap at the first corner, it was not the perfect session! Then in Q2 we had a problem with the bike and that did not run as smoothly as it could have done, but I was a second faster than I had been on race rubber. Going into Q3 I was not really happy and we made a change, but not quite to the next step.
Definitely we will make changes to the bike before warm-up and we have a change a change or direction. We have been playing a bit of catch-up all weekend, but we are pretty close and if we can be consistent in the 1m 30s then we can be with the top guys – that’s the plan.”
Tomorrow’s final warm up session gets underway at 09:30, with race one of the 2015 BSB Championship scheduled to start at 13:30.