Josh Brookes was left cursing his luck after he saw his British Superbike title aspirations fade with a double DNF at Assen.
|Brookes’ first race lasted just five corners
Photo: Milwaukee Yamaha
The Australian came into the Dutch event second in the overall standings but was instantly at a disadvantage in race one. Track conditions were less than ideal and with race direction declaring it a Wet Race a late change of tyres proved costly as Brookes failed to exit pit lane before it closed. A back row start was the result.
He got away well and had made several places up before he entered the tight De Strubben hairpin.
“In race one I had to start from the back of the grid as I entered the pit lane,” he said. “At the start of the race I felt good and everything was going well until turn four. I thought ‘I can go round people’ and I started to accelerate, until I ran straight in to the back of Kirkham – he just didn’t accelerate and I fell off.”
Shane Byrne’s late crash in race one handed Brookes a late reprieve but that only lasted a matter of hours. As he failed to complete a lap in race one Brookes started the second from the back row. To compound a miserable day a clutch problem hindered his early laps before he eventually opted to retire on lap nine.
Reflecting on a day that yielded no points he said, “I always seem to make things difficult for myself every year, but it is what it is and I couldn’t have done anything different.”
By virtue of his podium credits Brookes remains third in the championship standings but he now sits 51 points behind Shane Byrne with just five races remaining.