Contract boost for Brookes
British Superbike Championship title contender Josh Brookes heads to Assen buoyed by his contract extension with the Tyco Suzuki team.
The Australian heads the standings as the series makes its first visit to the famous 'cathedral of motorcycle racing' in Holland, fresh from his double win at Donington Park.
The championship begins its 'Showdown' phase at Assen, with the top six battling it out over the final three rounds in a bid to secure the championship.
Brookes, 29, had been known as a fast but wild rider. However, he has slotted in perfectly with Tyco Suzuki and is delighted to have agreed terms for 2013 at such a critical stage of the season.
"I'm with the best team in the BSB paddock so I'd have to say 'why would I leave?' It was all pretty straightforward and an easy decision to make if I'm honest," said Brookes of his decision to re-sign.
"Philip Neill put a deal in front of me that for me, proved my value to the team and made me realise that they really wanted me there for 2013.
"It's nice to know they value me as the rider they want to win a championship with, and I appreciate that.
"It took me a while to begin with, but I'm very happy riding the GSX-R1000 and they've built a good team around me; so continuing was the only option. It's important for me to be in a comfortable environment as there's enough stress during the year - and Tyco Suzuki provides that."
Veteran Shane Byrne returns to action this weekend after missing the last two rounds after suffering a grade four shoulder dislocation and ligament damage.
The Londoner is going for a record-equalling third title and said: "The shoulder is getting better all the time; we will have to wait and see how strong it is once we get out on track, but I am doing everything to be in the best possible position as I want to be champion again."