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 set ahead of his mountain course 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 ten 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.”
Speaking of signing Brookes, 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 rider experience and his achievement of being fastest newcomer in 2013, Josh is clearly capable of a 130mph-plus lap. Given the requirements of the team at this stage of the project this makes him a perfect rider for Norton.”
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