2015 BSB Cham­pion re­turns to Bri­tain on a mis­sion

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week In Mcn - BSB RE­PORTER oli.rushby@mo­tor­cy­cle­

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

Brookes could shake up the se­ries

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