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Brookes versus Easton in the final minutes of free practice two

Saturday, May 03 2014

Josh Brookes ended the opening day of MCE British Superbike Championship free practice sessions at Oulton Park fastest as the Milwaukee Yamaha rider fired to the top of the times on his final lap of the afternoon.

Brookes had been working his way up the order throughout the second session, pushing James Ellison from the top in the early stages and then improving with consistent times. However in the final minute of the session, Stuart Easton moved ahead of the Australian with his best lap onboard the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki to go fastest. Brookes had one lap left of the session and was able to claim his position back by 0.236s at the chequered flag.

Brookes said: "The first session I found it really difficult to get into a smooth rhythm. I followed James (Ellison) as I knew he had been here last week so I thought that would be a good reference, but he kind of slowly crept away from me. I didn't feel comfortable and actually felt quite cold and a bit stiff on the bike where perhaps I hadn't warmed up properly which was my fault.

"Also with the settings we didn't change anything from Brands Hatch in the first session because I like to start the weekend as I left the previous track as that is just my method of working through everything. Those settings just didn't suit here so we made a few little changes during the session and improved, but then most of the changes were made between the morning session and this afternoon. We made a big step straight away and then steadily chipped away with some more little changes and I got more confident and more relaxed with the bike and the lap times just improved, so I am happy to top that final session today."  

There was drama for the opposite side of the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki garage as Shane 'Shakey' Byrne's rapid progress was halted early in the session with a technical problem. The team worked hard to get the triple champion back on circuit but it wasn't enough and although he held third place, he had only completed seven laps.

Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki's James Ellison was fourth fastest after setting the pace in the opening session, he held off an impressive Richard Cooper who held fifth place for the Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki team.

Millsport Ducati's Jakub Smrz continued to improve to set the sixth fastest time ahead of Chris Walker who was another rider to suffer a technical problem during the session. Ryuichi Kiyonari remained the fastest of the two Buildbase BMWs in eighth ahead of Tommy Bridewell and James Westmoreland who completed the top ten.

FFX Yamaha's Ian Hutchinson, Halsall Biker Gear Kawasaki's Harry Hartley and Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki's Mitchell Carr all crashed during the session, but were unhurt.

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, free practice two:

  1. Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) 1m:35.497s
  2. Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.236s
  3. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.803s
  4. James Ellison (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +0.808s
  5. Richard Cooper (Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki) +0.831s
  6. Jakub Smrz (Millsport Ducati) +0.982s
  7. Chris Walker (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +1.214s
  8. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) +1.459s
  9. Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) +1.613s
  10. James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) +1.627s

For the full result please click here