BROOKES JOINS NORTON TT TEAM
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.”
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