After an eventful, and at times controversial, maiden season in the British Superbike Championship, Josh Brookes is hoping to engineer a somewhat 'smoother' campaign in 2010 as he set his sights on this year's title.
Returning for a second season of BSB racing with HM Plant Honda, although Brookes is yet to win a race at this level, he is considered one of the favourites for the crown.
Indeed, Brookes believes he is better positioned than most riders heading into the season, which begins with the opening round at Brands Hatch on Easter Monday, having seen what improvements have been made to his Honda CBR1000RR during testing.
“I consider myself in a stronger situation this year than I was at the beginning of last year,” he told Crash.net
. “Each test I have done I have gone quicker and got more comfortable on the bike. We have new components on the suspension and electronics area which only improves the bike from last year. I consider myself in a good position where I could win the championship.”
With a bumper grid of some 36 riders set to line-up on the grid for the opening round, Brookes is expecting his competition to come from several sources, namely Honda counterpart Stuart Easton.
However, he also expects a stiff challenge from team-mate Ryuichi Kiyonari, the former double BSB champion returning to the series in 2010 after two years on the world stage. While Brookes maintains his personal aim isn't necessarily to finish ahead of Kiyonari, he admits beating a team-mate of such calibre can only aid his reputation.
“It's not my personal motivation but if I look at the way people outside the team would view it, they would compare. To be compared with a previous champion, that is a good way to be judged as to how you are doing.
“I don't want to win a championship that has no good riders in it, regardless of whether you win it brilliantly or not. So while it is not a personal consideration for me, if would be a good thing for my career.”