McCallen: “Josh Brookes could win NW200 in his first year”

By Marc Potter
marcpotter Tested every new bike since 1994, loves anything on two wheels, runs Potski Media, ex-BikeSocial boss. Recently discovered elbow-down riding - likely to end in tears.

Josh Brookes at the North West 200
Phillip McCallen, 11-times TT winner and the only man who has ever won five races in one week at the North West 20,  has said that it is possible NW200 rookie Josh Brookes could win in his debut year.

Speaking on BBC Northern Ireland in his job as commentator just now, Phillip McCallen said: "It is possible, he's a top British winner, he has won plenty of races. He lives here and he has ridden here lots and lots of times. He's not a silly boy. And under the brakes there is no one better."

BSB star Brookes is riding a Tyco Suzuki on his road racing debut at the NW200. He will also compete in the Isle of Man TT for the first time this year.

As he waited to go out for first his practice laps behind the marshalls at a wet and cold NW200 in Portrush, Northern Ireland, the Aussie said: "I'm really excited now, it's been a long time coming just sat here and now I'm eager to get going. It’s been a big build up and I'm just going to be easing my way round and easing my way in. Really excited to be here and be part of it.

He added: “The wet doesn't matter so much, I've just got to learn the surface of the road, where the corners are sharp and where they're not so sharp. The tyres I have on here are good and give plenty of feedback so it doesn't matter in the early laps if it's wet or dry.

Brookes lives in Ireland and has made sure he’s done plenty of laps of the circuit when the roads are open. He said: “Most of the preparation work has been family sharing myself with the track, I've been a rider on the road for years on open public roads, I'm familiar with the surfaces changing, the camber and stuff like that. Now I've got to see if I can adapt and ride it at top speed. I get a buzz out of BSB and the racing but this takes that to another level."

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