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Brookes insisted on TT option in 2013 contract
7 December 2012
British Superbike rider Josh Brookes' desire to compete at the Isle of Man TT in 2013 was underlined by his insistence that the race be written into his new contract with Tyco Suzuki.
Brookes finished as runner-up in the BSB series this year after pushing eventual champion Shane Byrne all the way to the final round at Brands Hatch.
The Australian will again be one of the big favourites for the title next year, when he will compete at the TT races for the first time.
Brookes has been a regular at the event as a spectator in recent years and has also completed a number of laps around the 37.73-mile circuit, but will take on the high-risk challenge for real in 2013.
He is the most high-profile BSB rider to tackle the TT in many years but Brookes made his commitment to the event clear during negotiations over his contract.
Tyco Suzuki team boss Philip Neill said: “If I'm honest, neither the team nor the organisers can accept any credit for making this happen.
“Josh was the one who made the decision, he was the one constantly mentioning the subject and when it came to negotiation time, he simply stated that he wanted this included in his agreement.
“I don't think there was ever an ultimatum, however, I knew he was serious and after discussing the idea with Suzuki and our sponsors we agreed to it,” he added.
“Our main focus for Josh in 2013 though is still very much challenging for the BSB title."
Neill is adamant Brookes' TT adventure will not impact on his BSB goal as he attempts to lift the title for the Northern Irish team for the first time.
“The TT will be a major part of Josh's 2013 season, for sure, but it is very much a learning year which should not distract his focus from BSB,” Neill said.
“Our main effort in road racing will of course focus around Guy [Martin] and possibly a second dedicated road race rider, should we decide to run a three-rider programme.
“However, Josh has a strong desire to race the TT which we had talked about many times before we finally made the decision to give him the opportunity.
“It really is hard to put any targets in place, although with a rider of Josh's ability and reputation, there will obviously be some expectation.
“I think Josh will be very realistic and from my experience he will only know after his first few practice laps if the TT really is for him or not.
“Either way, I expect him to treat his first year with careful consideration and examination and if he decides it is for him, then I see no reason why he won't excel at this discipline of racing in the same way he has on circuits.
“On the other hand, he may participate for one year and decide not to take his career in this direction, only time will tell.”
Conor Cummins rode for Tyco Suzuki on the roads this year but has been linked to several other teams.
Brookes is also in talks over competing at the North West 200 for the first time as a warm-up to the TT.
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