For­mer BSB champ shows the world what he’s re­ally ca­pa­ble of on­board the fac­tory Suzuki at the 8 Hours

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - IN JA­PAN MOTGP RE­PORTER si­mon.pat­ter­son@mo­tor­cy­cle­

Yoshimura Suzuki rider Josh Brookes went a long way to im­press­ing any fu­ture em­ploy­ers dur­ing this year’s Suzuka 8 Hours race by se­cur­ing a podium fin­ish.

Struggl ing in 2016 on the Mil­wau­kee BMW S1000RR, the reign­ing Bri­tish Su­per­bike cham­pion ad­mits that Suzuka was pos­si­bly one of his most im­por­tant races of the year. Pre­sent­ing an op­por­tu­nity to throw him­self back onto the world stage after a poor sea­son, he wasn’t go­ing to let the chance slide by.

“Hope­fully some­one else sees me as a threat now, even if it’s with Suzuki. I’d like to stay in World Su­per­bikes next year, but ob­vi­ously my re­sults haven’t been very sat­is­fy­ing so far this year. You’re only as good as your last race, and that leaves me in a com­pro­mised po­si­tion up un­til now. Hope­fully now I can re­in­stall some faith and re­gain some of my rep­u­ta­tion as a top-level rider.”

De­spite that, though, he was none­the­less left dis­ap­pointed fol­low­ing Sun­day’s race after a gam­ble with tyres left him un­able to chal­lenge as hard as he wanted to in his first run out on the GSX-R1000.

Bet­ting on a softer tyre that had proved ef­fec­tive dur­ing prac­tice, an in­crease in track tem­per­a­ture meant the Aus­tralian couldn’t push as hard as he wanted to when it came to the race.

“It’s slightly dis­ap­point­ing be­cause I wish we could have put more pres­sure on the Kawasaki guys. Some­times you’ve got to force a mis­take, not wait for them to make it. A lot of mis­takes made by other teams dur­ing the race were be­cause they were un­der pres­sure at the time.

“I feel like I’m maybe a lit­tle re­spon-

Road racer Gary John­son also had a suc­cess­ful week­end at Suzuka, tak­ing an im­pres­sive 16th and only just miss­ing out on cham­pi­onship points on his de­but at the track. Rid­ing for the Team­tras135hp BMW squad, the for­mer Honda TT Leg­ends en­durance rider fin­ished the race for the squad.

The fac­tory Suzuki team, Josh Brookes (cen­tre) with Nori Haga (right) and Takuma Tsuda The tra­di­tional Suzuka race start was as fran­tic as ever

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