BROOKES IS BACK IN BSB
2015 BSB Champion returns to Britain on a mission
Josh Brookes will make a surprise return to the MCE British Superbike series this year after signing a last-minute deal with Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha.
With all the top seats settled for 2017, it looked as though the Aussie had missed out on an opportunity to return to Britain but after late talks with TAG’S Rob Winfield, a deal was done to bring the former champion back to the UK.
The move comes after Brookes suffered a dismal year in the WSB with the Milwaukee BMW squad. Despite the strong bond between Brookes and the SMR team from their days in BSB, they couldn’t make things work on the world stage with BMW’S S1000RR.
“It has taken a long time for me to reach an agreement, but I came off a poor season and people are quick to pass judgement,” Brookes told MCN.
“My own team passed judgement on me, so I’d imagine other people did the same. They didn’t know if it was just a bad year or whatever. That being said, I’m really happy to have a deal done and be back in British Superbikes. I was really keen to go to the world stage, but there is no point being there and not being happy because your bike is no good and not capable of getting the results. It’s better to be in a series where I’m going to get a fair chance.”
While the TAG Racing team have enjoyed little success in the Superbike class with the exception of the podiums Richard Cooper scored for the team on Kawasaki machinery in 2014, Brookes isn’t daunted by the prospect of joining one of the smaller teams on the grid.
“I like that they’re a smaller team,” he said. “I think they’ll be more open to the ideas I might have on where the bike can go and what changes can be made.
“I’m not coming back to make up the numbers. The best thing about BSB is that it’s not only the premier teams that have the opportunity to win. We’ve seen a over the last few years how private teams and younger riders can get on the podium, and I feel we can do that every weekend in the hope of fighting for the championship.
“The BSB rules mean anyone can build a good bike, not just the official teams. That’s one of the most frustrating things about WSB, there are a couple of teams of a very high standard but the rest are just making up the grid.”
Despite nearly missing out on a BSB ride for 2017, Brookes says he was in no hurry to sign a deal that didn’t suit him just for the sake of having a ride.
“I can’t say I lost sleep about a ride for 2017, the worst case scenario was that I wouldn’t sign for anyone but would be available as a replacement rider if needed. Not that I’d wish bad on anyone, it’s just what happens in motorsport. I told myself I’d wait until the right deal came along. I did have an offer from Suzuki, but I wasn’t satisfied with the contract so I requested some changes and they decided they would go another way.
“In the end, I was presented a proposal I was happy with from TAG and here we are!”
TT return ‘still in the plan’
Brookes has also confirmed that he wants to return to the Isle of Man TT.
Recent rumours link him to the Norton factory, which made significant progress with the Aussie’s fellow countryman David Johnson last year, but Brookes is adamant nothing is signed.
“I’m talking to a number of people, but the beauty of riding for Rob is that he’s not the official Yamaha team so I’ve got the freedom to ride with a different manufacturer.”
Brookes impressed when he raced at the TT in 2013 and 2014, securing a best result of seventh – in the 2014 Senior TT.
‘It’s better to be in a series where I’m going to get a fair chance’ JOSH BROOKES
Brookes was BSB champ in 2015 but his 2016 was a shocker