Brookes forced to withdraw from Brands

Josh Brookes has been forced to withdraw from the opening round of the British Superbike Championship after being prevented from entering the country.

Aussie rider Brookes was due to arrive in the UK this week to compete in his first event for the HM Plant Honda team, but problems with his visa mean he has been turned back until it has been sorted.

"I'm absolutely gutted that I couldn't get my visa sorted in time following the change in immigration rules but thank Honda and the team for all their efforts and I'm doing everything possible to make sure I'm on the grid at Oulton Park in three weeks' time," said Brookes.

"We are so disappointed for Josh to not be with us for the start of the season but are confident his visa issue can be resolved and the team will be complete for next round," added team manager Havier Beltran.

Brookes' withdrawal means a late call up for Steve Plater, who will join Glen Richards on the Honda CBR1000RR Superbike, as well as assume his regular role as their Supersport representative.

"I really can't wait to get on the CBR600RR and get out there back on track in the supersport class," began Plater. "I think this class will be very competitive this year. I've finished second in the championship twice before so have got some unfinished business and my priority is to go out there and win the British Supersport title.

"For this first round I'll be standing in for Josh in the British Superbike class as well so it'll be a busy weekend and I'll certainly be putting in some miles around Brands Hatch. But I'm very happy to have been asked by the team to take on this role and it will also be good as it will provide me with more knowledge and experience of the Fireblade ahead of Le Mans the following weekend.

"The next few weeks are going to be pretty full on as I head from Brands Hatch straight to Le Mans for testing early next week, then back to the UK for a TT test, back to Le Mans for the race that weekend and then straight to the Isle of Man for the '09 TT launch media conference the following Monday!

"Nothing like starting the season with an action packed calendar but I'm really looking forward to everything and particularly getting into the British Supersport Championship.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
HM Plant Honda annoucne 2009 line-up.
Glen Richards and Joshua Brookes pose for HM Plant Honda ahead of the new BSB season
Josh Brookes, Anvil Hire Yamaha, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Josh Elliott, Tyco BMW, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Andy Reid, Tyco BMW, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
James Ellison, McAMS Yamaha [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Luke Mossey, JG Speedfit Kawasaki, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Sylvain Guintoli, Bennetts Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Luke Mossey, JG Speedfit Kawasaki, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Josh Elliott, Tyco BMW, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Josh Brookes, Anvil Hire Yamaha, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]

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Al - Unregistered

April 07, 2009 7:10 PM

Hmm.... if he had been a convicted murderer from an EU country we would have to have let him in... as a sportsman trying to take up a job that he has a contract for we can turn him away... And at least he can speak the language (well as close an an Aussie ever gets anyway) Theres something very wrong in the UK these days.

Pizdoff - Unregistered

April 07, 2009 10:30 PM

For sure its a godawful ****-up. But it *might* not be the team's fault. Would you trust the clever upstanding officers of HM Border and Immigration Service? Sure as **** I wouldn't, 'cos I've had to deal with their predecessors too many times in the past and whilst the best are spot-on I swear most must have to wear slip-ons 'cos they couldn't tie their own ****ing shoelaces. Personally I blame the guvmmint, but only because it genuinely is their ****ing fault.

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