Next week Josh Brookes returns to the 8.9-mile North West 200 Portrush-Portstewart-Coleraine triangle for the first time since 2014.
Brookes is taking on the NW 200 with the same PBM MCE Ducati Team that the 39-year-old Australian contests the British Superbike Championship with.
The Bedfordshire-based double BSB champion made his debut at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT in 2013 where he was the fastest newcomer on a Tyco Suzuki before setting a new outright Superbike lap record the following year on his way to second place on a Yamaha. Brookes also scored a Supersport podium the same year too.
Paul Bird’s team has a good record at the event which includes Glenn Irwin winning three of his last four Superbike races on a PBM Ducati so Brookes will be hoping to add another piece of silverware to Britain’s most successful motorcycle racing team’s trophy cabinet.
“We didn’t have any plans to contest the North West 200 originally as part of my deal with PBM and the MCE Ducati Racing Team this year, but it came as a pleasant, last-minute surprise when the opportunity arose.
“The question everyone is asking is just how competitive the MCE Ducati will be around the NW200 track and that’s a question I can’t answer until I’ve ridden it. But I have no reasons to believe we can’t do well, or really well in fact.
“The Ducati is known to be fast and although we are missing a couple of tenths in BSB, I don’t think that will be a problem with the very nature of the event.
“I’ve every confidence in the bike and the team, and although I’ve not ridden there since 2014, remember I nearly won the Superbike race and set a new lap record at the time. So, our expectations are high and I’m really looking forward to it and seeing the fans back after the past couple of years.
“I spent a lot of years living over in Northern Ireland so it will be good to see some familiar faces and hopefully the weather will be kind and we can get all the planned track time in.”
Brookes will only be contesting the North West 200, there are no plans for him or the MCE Ducati Racing Team to compete at this year’s Isle of Man TT Races.
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