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Brookes ready to revisit scene of ’09 nadir
21 June 2010
Josh Brookes will have a score to settle when he returns to Mallory Park for the latest round of the 2010 MCE British Superbike Championship, twelve months after receiving a two-event ban for causing a pile-up.
Brookes was heavily reprimanded after losing control of his HM Plant Honda under braking for the tight hairpin, the Australian slicing through the lead pack to harpoon leader Simon Andrews, while the ensuing oil spill would eliminate the following five riders.
Receiving a barrage of criticism from rivals and fans alike to go with the eventual ban, Brookes has since bounced back to become a BSB front runner, winning twice this year to currently sit second in the overall standings.
With his return to Mallory Park looming, Brookes looks back at the accident, maintaining his lack of experience at the time was a contributing factor to what would happen – something that won't affect him on this occasion.
“As I entered the run-up to the hairpin Chris Walker pushed me wide,” he said. “I had to get into a straight direction to start braking and I braked around one-two seconds later than normal on a bumpy section of track that popped my back wheel into the air. At that point I had lost a lot of braking force and needed to let go of the brake to get the wheel down.
“I knew I was in a bit of trouble – when the wheel popped up I was a passenger and continued to pull the bike up as quickly as possible. The only person I actually hit was Simon Andrews; the rest of the riders fell on oil that came out of the engine.”
“I will give that section of the track consideration for how bumpy it is but the way I was riding and the moves were standard racing. The crash was caused by circumstances, bumps, Chris Walker – there were a lot of things at once that had me off.
“I will continue to ride in a similar fashion but know the conditions in that area of the track now. If I had many years experience in BSB I would have known more but it was my first year in Superbike and I had less experience of the track and people I was racing with.”
Referring to the criticism is suffered as a result of the incident, Brookes is hopeful his strong performances this year have helped to change some opinions.
“I was the new guy and people didn't know me,” he added. “I was trying hard and crashed into the regulars and they were quick to criticise – I'd react like that, they were not acting unnaturally.
“When people got a better understanding of what I was trying to achieve and that I am not gung-ho or trying to ride outside my abilities that helped. If it happened now, not last year, maybe they would be less critical.
“The British crowd is coming round. I am trying to be myself and ride the way I do. If I try to ride differently then I may not ever have got to BSB. I want to win and constantly push and that is what has brought me to this point in the sport and is how I will carry on and go further. The British people know this and I've got a lot more support now; they know I am a fun guy who gives it his all.”
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