Josh Brookes on Norton for TT 2018
Josh Brookes will again race the IOM TT with Norton with the 34-year-old confirming overnight his deal with the Norton factory to contest this year’s RST Superbike and PokerStars Senior TT Races.
There had been much conjecture that John McGuinness would join Brookes at Norton this year but with McGuinness still canvassing his options. Lingering doubts whether his leg will be up to a return to racing by the time TT week comes around at the beginning of June no doubt also a factor in any decision the 23-time TT winner is set to make regarding his future.
In Brookes, the 2015 British Superbike Champion, Norton may not have a 23-time TT winner on their books, but they do have a rider that is fit and has proven himself up to the task at ‘Road Racing’. Brookes became the fastest newcomer at the TT after putting in a 127.7mph lap on his first visit to the Isle of Man with Tyco Suzuki in 2013.
Brookes enjoyed a successful return to the Mountain Course last year following a two-year absence from the Isle of Man, which included the fastest ever lap around the TT Course by a Norton machine with 130.883mph.
The lap was posted in the PokerStars Senior TT Race, which saw him finish in sixth place, his best finish to date at the TT.
He also returned to the Isle of Man later in the year and secured his maiden Mountain Course win with victory in the Bennetts Senior Classic TT Race riding a Paton as well as riding a Rotary Norton to within five-seconds of Steve Hislop’s fastest ever lap.
It was a good season all round for Brookes, who finished second overall in the British Superbike Championship, just three points behind eventual winner Shane Byrne, taking three wins along the way.
Brookes has enjoyed a meteoric rise at the TT since claiming the fastest newcomer title at the TT in 2013. He finished a best place of seventh in the 2014 Senior Race, which saw him improve his fastest lap to an impressive 129.859mph in only his second year at the island.
“It was a real honour to represent Norton last year. After a couple of years away it took me a bit of time to get dialled in again and despite the weather disruption I really felt comfortable by the end of race week and I’m raring to go again and build on last year with the team and add to their history around the Isle of Man.”
Brookes will compete on the ‘SG7’, derived from the V4 RR road bike. The bike that Brookes will ride is hand built at Norton’s Donington Hall factory and will continue its development and testing schedule in the hands of two-time TT Race winner – and Norton development rider – Steve Plater.
Norton CEO Stuart Garner
“There are only a handful of riders capable of competing for podiums and race wins at the TT and in Josh Brookes we have a rider with the ability and potential to rewrite the record books. Josh’s involvement in the team not only gives us a competitive position on the track but also means that we put into practice what we learn on the Isle of Man for our road bike. The most important thing for us as a team and a company is that we always move forward, always look to build on and improve what we’ve achieved and I’m more confident than ever that that’s what we’ll be doing again this year as we look to establish Norton at the front of the field on and off the track.”