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Brookes: I can win at North West 200
27 March 2013
Tyco Suzuki star Josh Brookes is setting his sights high as he prepares to make his road racing debut at the North West 200 in May.
The 29-year-old will compete in the Superbike and Superstock classes at the international roads meeting in Northern Ireland on the GSX-R1000 machines before he fulfils a long held ambition of racing the Mountain course at the Isle of Man TT.
However, the New South Wales rider has no plans to treat the North West as a mere warm-up to the legendary TT races, predicting: 'I absolutely believe that I can win there'.
Brookes' entry at the North West is a massive feather in the cap of the organisers given the Aussie's standing as one of the British Superbike Championship's leading lights.
He is following in the footsteps of a number of high profile British championship riders by competing at the event, with Steve Plater perhaps the most comparable name in recent years to make the switch from the short circuits to the roads.
Brookes said: “I will take the North West every bit as seriously as I will the TT- you have to, it's no joke,” before adding, “I absolutely believe that I can win there.
“I won't be disappointed if I don't but I believe the potential is there to win if I can get enough practice and the right preparation.
'I will take it in stages and see how the first day of practice goes, see where I am on the first lap of the race.”
Brookes, who will rub fairings with established road racers in the mould of John McGuinness, Michael and William Dunlop, Conor Cummins, Michael Rutter, Bruce Anstey, plus Alastair Seeley and his Tyco Suzuki team-mate, Guy Martin, attended the event in 2012, where he provided pit-board signals for event specialist and ex-stablemate Seeley.
“I know that I can beat guys like Alastair on the short circuits and I don't want them to beat me at the North West,” he said.
“When I put my helmet on I don't take my brain out. It will challenge the racer in me and be a real pain if I have to watch Alastair disappear into the distance but good judgement in those circumstances is vital, it is what keeps you alive.”
Brookes is expected to undertake newcomer training at the 8.9-mile circuit with former North West 200 protagonist Steve Plater in readiness for the May showdown, where riders battle side by side at over 200mph.
Last year, Martin Jessopp was timed at 208mph through the speed gun on his Riders Motorcycles Ducati, eclipsing the previous fastest straight-line speed set by Stuart Easton of 205mph on Shaun Muir's Swan Honda Fireblade in 2010.
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