18 April 2017
Positive BSB Result for Anvil Yamaha
A positive weekend for the Derbyshire based Anvil Hire Yamaha squad, with Josh Brookes walking away with a strong fourth place finish in race two, after battling hard to finish tenth place in the first outing, consolidating fourth place in the Championship standings. Team mate Shaun Winfield enjoyed a positive meeting, improving on his best lap time in qualifying, finishing race two in 18th, after experiencing a technical fault in race one
Following four positive free practice sessions, where both Brookes and Winfield worked through different setup changes, both riders found a lot of confidence with their YZF-R1’s prior to qualifying.
The three-tier qualifying session saw Brookes make a great start, jumping straight into Q2, alongside his team mate after posting a 45.7 on his final lap.
Q2 saw both riders follow each other around the track, with Shaun once again improving in time, posting a 45.6, meaning he qualified for Sunday’s first race in 18th place, only nine tenths of a second behind the pole man James Ellison.
‘Brooksey’ jumped into the final eight-minute dash for pole on his final lap, improving his lap time by under half a second, posting a 45.1. The final stage saw Brookes post a time good enough to line him up eighth on the grid, six tenths of a second off pole position.
From the lights in race 1 on Sunday both riders made solid starts, with Josh in 12th place, and Shaun 19th after the first lap. A technical fault then forced Winfield to retire after three laps, leaving Brookes to fly the flag for the team.
Mid race the Bringelly man had worked his way back into the top ten, and was chasing down Peter Hickman for ninth place, however the Australian just couldn’t catch the BMW man at the flag, crossing the line, picking up six points.
Race two saw Josh start from eleventh on the grid by virtue of his lap time set in race one, with Shaun starting from 23rd.
As the lights went out Brookes made a good start and worked his way up to ninth place after the opening few laps. He continued to move his way through the field, working his way past Peter Hickman for seventh place.
With grip from his SC0 rear tyre Brookes had only a few laps left to catch Jason O’Halloran who occupied fourth place. Josh bridged the gap of over one and half seconds to pass the Honda rider on the final lap, taking fourth spot, and once again the top Yamaha.
His team mate Shaun Winfield equally made a good start, moving upto to 19th place after the opening few laps, and began to battle with Jakub Smrz for 18th place. By mid race Winfield had lost edge grip with his SC1 tyre, forcing him to ride cautiously for a finish, crossing the line in 18th.
A smiling Josh Brookes said after the weekend: “I wouldn’t describe it as a difficult weekend it’s what’s part and parcel of racing.
“The bike didn’t have any problems throughout any of the sessions this weekend so there weren’t any difficulties. Sometimes, like at Donnington, it was a lot easier, the bike worked really well without having to make any changes. Whereas here not so much, we had to work harder for it.
“Race two was a more satisfying race than race one. Race one was very difficult to keep the lap times, improve and make up places. It was just too difficult I couldn’t bring anything more. I didn’t have the ability with the bike, or the skill to out perform anyone, the combination wasn’t working.
“However, in race two we turned things around, the bike was improved slightly between races and the result was better, the bike worked better, I felt more comfortable and I was able to achieve an improved result.
“I reflect on the weekend as what were able to do with the bike as opposed to what we didn’t do. If we hadn’t of touched the bike with a spanner and just rode it all weekend as it was I would have been outside of the points. We had a bike at the start of the weekend which wasn’t fast enough to be where we finished and at the end of the weekend we progressively got better and better and got closer to the front with every session.
“The team did all that they could to offer a better package and did improve every session. I rode it as best I could, giving the best feedback I could, so I think everything was positive. We didn’t have the ultimate preferred result but the weekend was positive for us.”
His team mate Shaun Winfield added: “Obviously race one we didn’t have a very good race with the technical issue, I only rode three laps so we didn’t get any data meaning we went into race two where we would have been going into race one.
“I didn’t get a very good start, there was a bit of a problem with the clutch so we ended up being last into turn one. I was fighting away to pick a way through and I picked up a few places quite early on and we had some quite strong pace, just was lacking edge grip with the SC1.
“We thought it would be strong till the end of the race, but it dropped off fairly quick so we couldn’t keep the pace up. In the end I ended up just trying to hold my own, hopefully we’ll be able to improve when we go to Oulton on Thursday, and come back better at round three.”
Finally, a delighted Team Owner Rob Winfield said: “It’s a very good end to the weekend. We started off with a test, testing tyres, the SC1, and keeping Shaun rolling on that and getting Josh on it to see what the difference was. We stuck by that, and we knew we could go quicker on the SC0 when we had to for qualifying.
“If the race was going to be hot we knew that was an option, but for the whole weekend to come out here with some good points, Shaun didn’t get any points at all but he blew the doors away with qualifying and showed he can get up there with them with just a little bit more set up for race.
“Josh had a great race in race two and did an outstanding job to come from where he did. We opted for a softer tyre for race two and it obviously worked for him, it was really good. I’d like to thank everybody involved with us.”
Josh Brookes currently sits in fourth place of the MCE British Superbike standings on 48 points, with Winfield in 20th, on one point.
The team now travel to Oulton Park in Cheshire on Thursday for the official MCE BSB test before round two of the MCE British Superbike Championship on the 30th/1st/2nd May.