BRADFORD motorcycle racer David Brook scored a solid top-15 finish as he made his road racing debut at the Southern 100 International Road Races.

Brook, who is a regular short-circuit competitor, enjoyed his first taste on the roads at the famous Isle of Man's Billown Circuit.

The Team Arkoni man is one of the leading riders in Thundersport GB’s flagship GP1 series, but has spent much of the early part of 2018 recovering from a huge crash last August which left him with serious leg injuries.

Knowing his chances of fighting for the title this year would be hampered by his cautious start to the season as he battled back to full fitness, Brook took the decision to finally scratch the road racing itch which he’d had for a while and decided to tackle the event

As a newcomer, he was determined to make a steady but calculated start to race week, and was keen to learn as much as he could in the opening sessions before he started to push harder later on.

But after struggling to find a set-up that he was comfortable with on day one, he changed his gearing on the advice of fellow competitors, and with the chance of practice before the race scuppered by rain, he headed straight into the Corlett’s Trophies Senior Solo B race with a new set-up.

Starting 32nd on the grid, Brook managed to carve his way through the field as he found the new set-up was exactly what he’d been looking for, moving up 17 places to cross the line 15th.

Unfortunately, because qualifying times are taken from practice when Brook was still learning the track and struggling with gearing, he didn’t manage to qualify for the senior race.

However, he says he is happy with his progress over the course of the week and knows which areas he needs to improve if he was to do it again.

He said: “The problem was my slow start, but I had a lot to learn about the track, plus trying to work around the gearing problems I was having, so I wasn’t able to qualify for the big boys’ race.

“I went from 32nd through to 15th but the race was decided by then.

"If I’d pushed harder on Monday it could’ve all been different because I’d have qualified further up, and if I had I’m sure I’d have been up at the front.

“But at the same time, I did have a lot to learn and I think learning it at the pace I did was the right way.

"You’ve got to handle things differently on the roads to the short circuits.

“I really loved the track – it’s mint and I think it’s something I’d certainly look at again.

If I can work it into my calendar for next season, I’d definitely give it another go, but I’m also keen to get stuck back into the short circuits now and see if I can start building on my previous results there.”

Brook is supported by Arkoni, who supply the construction industry with a full metal-working service from design all the way through to installation.

Managing director Mark Prentice was following the action from home, and was pleased with Brook’s result.

He said: “David has been keen to try the roads for a while and we were happy to be able to support him in his debut.

"It was interesting to see how well he adapted to the different style of racing, and how quickly his lap times dropped once he had a set-up he was comfortable with.

“It’s a shame the way the qualifying system works, because I believe he would’ve been a very strong challenger after a few more laps, but I think his progress in that race shows his ability.

"I’m delighted he’s had such a positive roads debut and look forward to seeing him back in action with Thundersport GB soon.”

*The next round of Thundersport GB takes place at Brands Hatch in Kent this weekend.