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Brookes set to replace Hopkins

Josh Brookes is to assume John Hopkins' place in the Crescent Fixi Suzuki team for the opening World Superbike Championship round at Phillip Island.

Josh Brookes is set to make a one-off return to the World Superbike Championship after being called up as a replacement for the injured John Hopkins at Crescent Fixi Suzuki.

With Hopkins returning to the United States to seek consultation on the broken hand he sustained during testing at Phillip Island, Motorcycling Australia - governing body of motorcycle sport in Australia - has confirmed that Brookes will take his place in the Crescent team for the opening round of the WSBK series at the same circuit.

Speaking to Australia's Fox Sports, Brookes says he is a logical replacement for Hopkins having already made 33 WSBK starts, while he also under a Suzuki contract having signed to race with the Tyco by TAS team in the British Superbike Championship.

"It only makes sense I'd get the call up. I've got World Superbike experience; I'm currently employed by Suzuki and have done a season racing on the GSXR 1000 so I guess it sort of makes sense. I have to say I'm very grateful to Phillip Neal from TAS Suzuki for allowing me to take this opportunity. Without their support I couldn't do it."

As well as Brookes' experience of the GSX-R1000, he is also at home around Phillip Island having raced there at WSBK level in 2010 when he stepped in for injured countryman Broc Parkes at Echo CRS Honda.

"I don't put any extra pressure on myself, I'm just going to ride the best I can and make the most of the opportunity," added Brookes, who is likely to take part in the official WSBK tests next week. "The bike I was riding last year will be very much the same as what I'm riding this weekend so I'm lucky there. I know the bikes and I know the circuit so I hope it all falls into place quite easily."

In his first season aboard the Suzuki, Brookes finished fifth in the British Superbike Championship standings in 2011 after claiming two victories at Brands Hatch and Silverstone.

Brookes won the 2004 WSS race at Phillip Island, as a wild-card.

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