Josh Brookes has always been a versatile rider, something he proved beyond doubt when taking on the Isle of Man TT for the first time in 2013 and setting the fastest ever lap for a newcomer at 127.72mph. He is also more than handy on a motocross bike.
After finishing 2015 on a brilliant high that culminated in Brookes winning the British Superbike Championship on a Milwaukee Yamaha, it is fair to say that the team’s switch to World Superbike and BMW machinery in 2016 has been somewhat of a frustration for the 33-year-old.
After earning a podium at the Suzuka 8 Hour overnight with Yoshimura Suzuki, on a GSX-R1000 he had only limited testing on, Brookes once again proved his speed and versatility by putting in some of the fastest laps at the 8 hour.
For the moment at least, he can forget about the previous frustrations of 2016 and enjoy the podium celebrations with Yoshimura Suzuki after finishing on the podium at what is the world’s premier endurance motorcycle racing event.
Alongside teammates Takuya Tsuda and Noriyuki Haga, Brookes finished just over 10-seconds behind race-long rivals Team Green.
“In the testing I had the best results from the softer tyre. So that was our choice for the race. The extra heat of race day was too much to get the desired performance, and if I tried harder I would have crashed as I already had come close to crashing a few times.
“We used the harder tyre in my next stint and it worked much better. For my last run to the finish the race the track temperature had cooled down so I went back to the softer option and it worked well.
“It’s great to be on the podium but the goal for everyone in the team is to win, so improvements need to come for next year.
“It was great to team up with Tsuda and Haga. Tsuda I’ve known since the Moriwaki 80 days where it all started.
“Haga was already racing in the world championship back then, so I never imagined I would one day team up with him in the 8 Hour.
“Yoshimura is a big name known world wide, but they are still very much a family company. It’s a great pleasure to be invited to join their team and everyone is proud to rival the big budget factory teams.”
Suzuka 8 Hour 2016 Results
#21 Yamaha Factory Racing Nakasuga/Espargaro/Lowes 218 laps
#87 Team Green Yanagawa/Haslam/Watanabe +2m 17.883s
#12 Yoshimura Suzuki Tsuda/Brookes/Haga +1 lap
#7 YART Yamaha EWC Team Parkes/Nozane/Fujita +4 laps
#32 Moto Map Suzuki Waters/Aoki/Konno +4 laps
#17 Kagayama Suzuki Kagayama/Uramoto/Kiyonari +5 laps
#01 Eva RT Kawasaki Deguchi/Izutsu/Nigon +5 laps
#22 SatuHati Honda Team Asia Pratama/Wilairot/Zaidi +6 laps
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