Josh Brookes will remain with Norton for a second consecutive crack at the Isle of Man TT this year, it has been confirmed.
The Aussie became the fastest rider ever to lap the iconic 37.73-mile mountain course on a Norton with a lap of 130.883mph on his way to a sixth-place finish in last year’s Senior TT and will remain with the factory squad as they look to further that with the V4-RR SG7 this year.
“I’m really happy to have some continuity for 2018. Staying with Yamaha in BSB and then having a second year with Norton at the TT is going to be good for me,” Brookes told MCN.
“In my first year I was on a Suzuki, the second year I was on a Yamaha and then last year was on a Norton so it’s been a lot of change as well as learning the track, so to have two runs at it on the same machine is going to be very valuable.
“I had high expectations for the Norton last year and the hype of it suggested it would be good but even with the expectations quite high I was expecting to have to make more changes before I was happy. The testing I had on the bike was limited and I had quite a good comfortable set-up with the bike and it worked really well. The best way to describe it was that I was impressed by the bike’s performance.
“This bike is definitely capable of getting on the podium. In fact, with the right person on it last year I think it could have been on the podium. For me to get into the 130mph club without taking too many risks and still not knowing the circuit too well and coming back after two years, I was happy, but the right rider could have been within grasp of a podium, so with further improvements I think it will be challenging at the front without doubt.”
Norton are yet to confirm who will field their second bike after David Johnson moving to the Gulf BMW team. Paddock rumours have seen both John McGuinness and Michael Dunlop linked to the Castle Donington-based factory in recent weeks.