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Brookes makes his mark during roads debut

'On those opening laps I was thinking, jeez what have I let myself in for here' - Josh Brookes
British Superbike title contender Josh Brookes made an impressive road racing debut at the Vauxhall International North West 200 as the Aussie set the fourth fastest time in the Superbike class on Tuesday.

Brookes got his first taste of the 200mph roads course in the pouring rain in the newcomers session before he was unleashed on the Tyco Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superbike with the event's regular stars.

Last year's BSB runner-up, who will also compete at the Isle of Man TT this year, made smooth progress as he gradually increased his pace to set a best speed of 113.87mph for the 8.9-mile circuit in a mixture of wet and dry conditions.

The Australian rider said afterwards that his main problem was identifying braking markers, although he was pleased overall with his performance.

“On those opening laps I was thinking, jeez what have I let myself in for here, but it was a lot drier for the Superbike session and I really enjoyed my first experience of road racing,” said Brookes.

“Station Corner [160mph right-hander] was very intimidating and I did struggle with finding my braking markers.

"But I spent two laps out on track with William Dunlop and I am learning all the time.”

Brookes will ride in the Superbike and Superstock classes at the North West, with the first of two Superstock races taking place on the Thursday evening race bill prior to Saturday's main event.

Honda TT Legends rider Michael Dunlop set the fastest lap of the day at 118.21mph.




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