‘I’m scared every time ride a bike. I think it’s natural’
Josh Brookes, former BSB champion and current Showdown contender, reveals all
Q1 What are you riding?
Years ago when I rode for Honda in Australia I bought a Blade off them cheap and I’ve had it for years. It owes me nothing, costs me nothing and just sits there. A friend of mine distributes parts for the Honda Monkey bikes, so a group of us all have them modded up. I ride that fairly often. It’s fun! They’re fast for their size but you’re not going to lose your licence.
Q2 Which living motorcyclist do you most admire?
It’s not very original but Valentino. It’s hard to look past him for inspiration. He’s brilliant, isn’t he?
Q3 What’s your worst habit?
I’ve got really bad riding posture! Luckily it’s not relevant on a race bike as you’re all tucked in but it looks awful on a motocross bike.
Q4 If you could have one riding superpower, what would it be?
It would be to overcome any issue with the bike by using my mind!
Q5 What’s the fastest you’ve ever been on a bike?
I don’t know the exact figure, but I guess it’ll be near 200mph on the Sulby straight or at the North West 200.
Q6 When were you last scared?
I’m scared every time I ride a bike. I think it’s natural. If you’re not scared you’re not alive, or you won’t be for very long! Whether that’s fear of falling or injury or even just not getting the best result.
Q7 How many miles have you done on the road in the last year?
Probably about 1000.
Q8 What’s the highest mileage you’ve covered in a day?
About 500 miles. In Australia, I went on a two-day event, riding down and camping and riding back the next day but I rode back on the same day.
Q9 What irritates you most?
When I’ve diagnosed a problem with the bike, come in and had a good chat with my team and then gone back out and found it hasn’t been fixed. You can explain a problem easily but it’s not always that easy to find a solution.
Q10 You’ve two weeks off, where are you going? Australia! Home. Q11 Have you got one tip you’d give to a new rider?
Do as much riding as you can. Compare it to riding a skateboard: people get good at that because that’s all they do every day until they master whatever trick they’re trying. It’s the same principle. Ride all the time. Motocross, dirt track, whatever.
Q12 Have you ever fallen off in a car park (or somewhere equally as embarrassing)?
I fell off on a roundabout on a paddock scooter last year with my girlfriend Aimie on the back. We were going out for dinner and I was cruising around. I rode into the roundabout and it was so sandy from the beach that I lost it. We were both fine, there was no damage – except to Aimie’s handbag.
Q13 Do you have one indispensable item of kit?
I’m not a great role model for wearing safety gear, it’s so hot in Australia and it’s such a better experience to ride with the sense of being free. I’ll always wear a helmet though.
Q14 If you were to go out on a Sunday blast which four people would you take with you?
Aimie goes everywhere I go, so her plus my mates John and Wayne. And probably Gordy Crockard, EX-MXGP rider who I live with in Northern Ireland.
Q15 Do you have a tool you couldn’t live without?
You need all the tools. There isn’t a single tool that can always get you out of trouble.
Q16 Do you adjust your own suspension?
Yes, I enjoy having the knowledge to be able to do it and then feeling it firsthand when I’m riding.
Q17 If you could have one of your old bikes back, what would it be?
My RS125 GP – my first real race bike.
Q18 What would you never buy?
An electric bike. If that’s the future for racing, I’ll have to find a new job.
Q19 Which road (or track) would you build on your desert island?
Oran Park in Australia. It was brilliant, loads of elevation changes and it had a Dunlop bridge you’d go under in one direction and then over in another. It’s been demolished in recent years and become a housing estate. I miss it.
Q20 If you ruled the world, what new law would you pass?
I’d make it so everyone on the road has to own a motorcycle if they want to own a car. With my law people would realise that a motorcycle is usually the better option, and it would improve congestion so much.
‘We were fine. There was no damage except to Aimie’s handbag’
Brookes: Loves Monkey bikes, hates electric bikes Aimie is still furious about that handbag… (see question 12) Brookes has got the R1 flying in MCE British Superbikes