Josh Brookes was the master of free practice at Oulton Park today (Saturday) as the 2015 champion topped the opening two Bennetts British Superbike Championship free practice sessions at the Cheshire circuit, upping his pace in the afternoon to set his best ever lap, inside the existing lap record, to end the day with the edge over Danny Buchan.
The 45-minute afternoon session saw all the positions change in the closing minutes with Brookes heading back to the top, positing a time on his final run that would cement his position at the top as he became the only rider to lap in the 1m:34s barrier, 0.723s ahead of Buchan.
It has been a strong session for the FS-3 Racing Kawasaki team, with Buchan building on his experience at the recent test to maintain his position inside the top five, and Peter Hickman again repeating his impressive performance on the Smiths Racing BMW to hold third place, having also had a stint at the top of the times in the earlier stages of the session.
Luke Mossey was again the fastest of the OMG Racing Suzuki riders, holding off Tommy Bridewell and Christian Iddon in the closing stages as he improved his pace on the final run of the second free practice session.
Jason O’Halloran was seventh fastest on the leading McAMS Yamaha as he bids to make amends this weekend after a double non-points score last time out at Silverstone, whilst Ryan Vickers continued to build momentum in his rookie campaign with the RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki team in eighth place.
Tarran Mackenzie was back inside the top ten in this afternoon’s session holding off Keith Farmer who completed the top ten, edging out joint championship leader Josh Elliott, Bradley Ray on the leading Buildbase Suzuki and Scott Redding on the second Be Wiser Ducatis.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, Free Practice 1:
- Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati) 1m:35.624s
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +0.050s
- Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +0.358s
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +0.473s
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Racing Ducati) +0.896s
- Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati) +1.027s
- Glenn Irwin (Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +1.054s
- Luke Mossey (OMG Racing Suzuki) +1.066s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +1.228s
- Josh Elliott (OMG Racing Suzuki) +1.304s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, Free Practice 2 result:
- Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati) 1m:34.321s
- Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +0.723s
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +1.178s
- Luke Mossey (OMG Racing Suzuki) +1.310s
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Racing Ducati) +1.492s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +1.556s
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +1.619s
- Ryan Vickers (RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki) +1.720s
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +1.971s
- Keith Farmer (Tyco BMW) +2.217s
For more information on the Bennetts British Superbike Championship visit www.britishsuperbike.com
Josh Brookes – Be Wiser Ducati
Fastest in free practice
“It has been a good day. I am not surprised with the lap time because I’ve been there before, or close to that. The fastest I’ve been here before was actually in a race and I did 34.4, which is a lap record, so to do 34.3 is a PB, which is great. But Jake Dixon did 33.7 last year so there’s still areas to gain and still room to improve.
“Without Jake being here on his bike from last year and showing what the gauge is, I don’t know if that’s even achievable. Maybe a 33.8 is possible, a 33.7 isn’t, I don’t know.
“At the moment I know that the bike’s not perfect, there’s definitely more edge grip to be found because I had it in this morning but we’ve gained a load of drive grip so I’ve got to decide which way is better – to go in search of more edge grip or ride with the bike as it is and work on other little details and see if that helps, so that’s where we’re at.”