Brookes on his TT debut: “I’ve always said fear will keep you alive”

Author: Jon Urry Posted: 11 Apr 2013

Josh Brookes on the TT parade lap last year, this year he's doing it for real.
Josh Brookes. Two-times runner-up in BSB, Aussie superbike ace, and all-round honorary Brit. The twice British Superbike championship runner-up is competing in his first TT this year, we spoke to him at the Isle of Man TT press launch about how he’s conquering his fears of riding at the TT, here's what he said:

“In 2009 Honda asked me to go to the TT as a guest, just to smile and shake people’s hands as their official British Superbike rider. I knew the TT was a big deal but that was about it. I remember walking through the paddock and saying hello to all mechanics I recognised from BSB, smelling the fuel, seeing the race trucks and then I walked into the pit lane and saw motorbikes flying past at over 180mph down the start/finish straight.

"If someone had put me on the spot then and said ‘here’s a bike for you’ I’d have been out there like a shot. It was as if a light went off in my head and I just thought ‘I need to be here and doing this!’ Four years later I am."

"So far I’d say I’ve done nearly 50 laps in car and even a lap on a coach with John McGuinness doing the onboard commentary. As well as this I’ve probably done about 25 laps on a bike, including a few parade laps and even getting out on Mad Sunday alongside road riders. Although to be honest I scared myself pretty bad on the 2012 parade lap – it was probably the most dangerous lap I will ever do.

"A little knowledge is a dangerous thing and I reached Rhencullen and got the corners confused – that was a big wake up call not to get cocky. I’ve always said fear will keep you alive. I’m not fearless, I just know how to manage it and don’t let it control me. My bike skills will keep me in safety for 90% of the time while my fear will stop me going out of my comfort zone. If you choose to ignore fear then you can step into a dangerous area…”