Brookes out of NW200 due to World bid
International North West 200 lap record holder Josh Brookes is set to miss next year's event on the North Coast due to a date clash with the World Superbike calendar, which will be officially announced on Tuesday.
The 32-year-old Milwaukee Yamaha rider was expected to sign for a privately run BMW team to race in World Superbike for 2015, but when the phone went cold, Brookes - who bases himself in Newtownards during the racing season - decided to stay put in Shaun Muir's SMR squad.
The lure of riding the all-new R1 Yamaha with factory support was too good to turn down but the talk is that Brookes will have to forego the North West 200 and possibly the Isle of Man TT if he's to fulfill a number of wildcard World Superbike appearances for Yamaha.
It would be a bitter blow for organisers to lose a rider of Brookes' calibre, but with Yamaha UK putting all their efforts into local team Mar-Train Racing for the next two years, then maybe Brookes will be a spectator during practice week at the Triangle.
The date clash is expected to be for the British WSB round at Donington Park, which in turn could affect attendances at the North West and also stop local star Jonathan Rea from making a cameo appearance.
Local MotoGP star Eugene Laverty will also be out of the country that weekend racing at Le Mans in France with the Drive M7 Aspar Honda team.