Josh Brookes says that his incredible save last weekend during qualifying for the Suzuka 8 Hours was ‘like hitting a brick wall,’ after he was lucky to escape unhurt from a high-speed moment on the Yoshimura Suzuki that he was lucky to walk away from.
Catching his knee on the grass on the outside of the bike and getting launched into the air, he admitted to MCN afterwards that it was more chance than anything else that had kept him on the bike.
“I honestly thought I was crashing. It wasn’t expected at all – sometimes you put your knee into the grass or the dirt and normally you can feel the drag as it’s not a slippery surface. But it went from nothing to everything all at once for me, from a slippery surface to like my knee had hit a brick wall! I think I must have went from the tarmac and hit a solid edge like a kerb or rumble strip.
“It didn’t drag my knee, it was a solid hit. It couldn’t go anywhere, my femur couldn’t compress, and the only thing it could do was to push me backwards off the bike. I took a massive impact, and for the next hundredths of a second I thought ‘oh that’s me off the bike’ But your natural instinct is to stay on, and it all happened so fast – I went like a cat, tried to keep my weight over the front of the bike, and it came together more out of good luck than good judgement!”
But, in typical Brookes style, he admitted that with the incident happening so quickly that he barely had time to process it at the time, he was delighted when a Japanese photographer tweeted the photos of the moment to him!
“I had no idea anyone had got it on photos, but I hadn’t really said anything on social media, so rather than just giving the typical rider line, I mentioned that I had caught my knee on the inside of the track and nearly came off.
“Within a couple of minutes I had a reply from a Japanese Twitter account with the pictures – and even I was blown away, because it all happened so quick I hadn’t realised how far I was off the bike. I wasn’t completely sure of the details because it was such a quick ‘oh my god’ moment, so to actually see the photos was a nice reconfirmation. That might sound a bit bizarre, but when it all happens so fast you don’t have time to digest it.”
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