It is only a year since Josh Brookes made his road racing debut at the Vauxhall International North West 200 but he says he believes he can win at Portrush in 2014.
“I think it is a real possibility that a win is on the cards,” said the Australian BSB star.
The 30-year-old set the road racing world alight in 2013 as he finished seventh in the Superstock class at the North West in far from ideal conditions.
A fortnight later he went on to become the TT’s fastest ever newcomer with a blistering lap of 127.726 mph.
The Bringelly, New South Wales man switched teams from Tyco Suzuki to Milwaukee Yamaha during the winter and he already appears at ease on the red and white R1, topping the timesheets at BSB pre-season tests.
“If I look at my BSB preparation it is the most confident I’ve been going into a new season,” Brookes explained.
“I felt like I had been riding the Yamaha for years right from the first day and at Donington I equalled the lap record on a track that wasn’t in the best condition.”
It all augurs well for a sensational return to the roads at the North West in May on a bike that will be well suited to the superfast stretches between Portstewart and Coleraine.
“As a racer you have to have that desire to win and I need to chase that. It is like a dog with a rabbit!” Brookes smiled.
“But I do need a good week of practice at the North West to get a good feel for the road on the Yamaha.”
Brookes confined his 2013 road racing to the Superstock class but he will enjoy a lot more track time this season as he is entered in both the Supersport and Superbike events at the North West.
His Yamaha team’s title sponsor, Milwaukee Power Tools, will also sponsor the 600cc race at Portrush on May 17.
“I think that I can win on either bike. I have an equal chance in both categories.” Brookes said confidently.
“I finished third in the World Supersport championship earlier in my career so I know I can ride 600s and Yamaha have a brilliant bike in that class.”
The Australian will be joined by team mate Ian Hutchinson in both classes and the duo will pose a very formidable line-up on the 8.9 mile Triangle course.
“In theory all is in place to have a good weekend at the North West,” Brookes added.