BROOKES JOINS NOR­TON TT TEAM

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport -

The 2015 MCE British Su­per­bike Cham­pion Josh Brookes will make a re­turn to the Isle of Man TT in 2017 after sign­ing a deal to join Nor­ton’s fac­tory ef­fort.

Ab­sent from the TT for the past two years, 33-year-old Brookes will join David John­son on the British-built, Aprilia-en­gined V4 racer and has a clear tar­get for his re­turn.

“I al­ways wanted to race the TT, but for what­ever rea­son SMR told me I couldn’t in 2015 and then we were busy with World Su­per­bikes in 2016,” he told MCN. “Over the last two years I’ve been des­per­ate to get back to the is­land. I like the his­tory of Nor­ton and it will be great to be­come a lit­tle part of that story.

“It’s al­ways hard to pre­dict re­sults on the Isle of Man, but Davo set a clear bench­mark last year as he lapped at al­most 131mph, so as long as we can do bet­ter than that we’ll be do­ing OK! The first rule of rac­ing is you have to beat your team-mate.

“When I made my TT de­but with TAS in 2013 I fin­ished in the top 10 so it’s more than pos­si­ble for us to get a good re­sult but it’s im­por­tant for me to let that come to me rather than go out all guns blaz­ing. Re­al­is­ti­cally, as long as we fin­ish the races without a prob­lem and I join the 132mph club by the end of the fort­night then we’ll be cel­e­brat­ing.”

Nor­ton CEO Stu­art Garner said: “There are a cou­ple of rea­sons why we wanted to sign Josh. Firstly, he gives us the op­por­tu­nity of a world class short cir­cuit rider to move along the V4 road bike devel­op­ment, and se­condly, with his TT ex­pe­ri­ence and his achieve­ment of be­ing fastest new­comer in 2013, Josh is clearly ca­pa­ble of a 130mph­plus lap. ”

The fac­tory will again be run­ning a mod­i­fied Aprilia CRT Mo­togp en­gine in 2017 de­spite Nor­ton hav­ing just un­veiled a 1200cc V4 mo­tor of their own in the V4-SS road bike.

Garner con­tin­ued: “With first de­liv­er­ies of V4 SS bikes not ex­pected un­til the sec­ond half of 2017 it’s too early in the en­gine’s devel­op­ment to race the new Nor­ton V4 en­gine given the dan­gers and en­durance in­volved in com­pet­i­tive rac­ing at the TT.”

Nor­ton new boy Brookes was the TT’S fastest rookie

Nor­ton will field a two-rider squad

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