Author: Oli Rushby Posted: 09 Dec 2015
After a dominant year aboard Yamaha’s YZF-R1 in the British Superbike series, many were shocked when it was announced Josh Brookes and the Milwaukee team would switch to BMW as they move to World Superbikes in 2016.
However, the BSB champion is adamant the move sees him with his ‘best chance yet’ of success on the world stage.
Brookes is no stranger to World Championship racing. In 2004, he stunned by taking victory in his first ever World Supersport race as a wildcard at Phillip Island, before joining the class full-time in 2006 as reigning Australian Superbike Champion.
In 2009, he moved to the British Superbike Championship despite finishing third in the World Supersport series; a decision he admits was difficult and financially motivated.
“I had to choose BSB for financial reasons,” Brookes told Bike Social earlier this year. “I’ve got to pay for the lifestyle I want to live and at the time I was forced to go to BSB. It was only going to be a year or two before I’d try to find a way back into World Championships.”
Some seven years later, Brookes has achieved his goal and will move back on to the world stage with the team that took him to his first British Superbike title this season.
However, Shaun Muir’s Milwaukee-backed outfit will switch to BMW machinery for the move after Yamaha chose Crescent Racing to run the factory-backed R1s with Sylvain Guintoli and Alex Lowes.
While this move has confused some, Brookes has suggested that his title success wasn’t solely down to the Yamaha’s capabilities.
“It may seem like a strange move after dominating the British Championship with the new model R1 this season,” he explained. “However, this success could be attributed to the expertise of the team personnel and the R1 being competitive with the BSB rules.
“After much consideration of all the options. Including Suzuki and Aprilia, the BMW was the most fitting bike for the team to move into the World Superbike Championship with and be competitive.
“I take a lot of comfort in having Stewart Winton and Ian Lord working with me, and directing the development of my bikes, having been the driving force of this year’s success. Their experience and understanding of the technical side is the best I’ve worked with.
“The BMW is already recognised for its impressive power figures and the WSBK championship already runs Pirelli tyres, which I’ve raced on for the last seven years in BSB. We’ll also be using Ohlins suspension, which I’ve raced with since 2007 and I’m already familiar with the circuits having raced in the World Championship in 2006, ’07 and ’08.
“It’s quick to see there’s already good reason to be building confidence. This will be my best chance yet for good results at World Championship level.”