Brookes ready to take on the World
Recently-crowned British Superbike champion Josh Brookes will rejoin the World Superbike paddock next year on BMW Motorrad machinery, backed once again by Milwaukee Power Tools.
Brookes - who bases himself in Newtownards during the racing season - took this year's BSB title with Shaun Muir's Guisborough-based SMR Milwaukee Yamaha team, but when the Japanese manufacturer overlooked them in favour of Paul Denning's Crescent team to run the all new YZF-R1M in WSB in 2016, team owner Muir refused to bin both his and Brookes' dream of a World Superbike bid.
Straight-talking Brookes, who can often be seen motocrossing on the Ards Peninsula and trials riding in the Mournes with his landlord and three-time former British motocross champion Gordon Crockard, is delighted to finally be able to announce his plans for 2016.
The Australian last raced in World Superbike some nine years ago, albeit on relatively uncompetitive machinery, so he has a few old gremlins he wants to exorcise, and in doing so, show what the reigning British champion can bring to the WSB party.
"I'm excited to be back in World Superbikes and to go there with the same team I won the BSB title with is perfect," said the 32-year-old, who has returned to his home in Bringelly, New South Wales for Christmas.
Looking ahead to his new connection with the German manufacturer, he added: "I haven't raced a BMW before but the bike and factory are proven, and I am certain the S1000RR will be competitive.
"Having the support of BMW Motorrad Motorsport is crucial to our efforts and having their experts on site with us will be a big help.
"We will test early in January before heading to Phillip Island and I am looking forward to riding in front of my home fans."
Brookes, who has previously won at his home venue in the World Supersport class, will have 25-year-old Czech rich kid Karel Abraham as his team-mate for 2016 at Milwaukee BMW.
Abraham has spent the last five years in the MotoGP paddock. Both Brookes and Abraham will ride BMW S1000RRs built in house by Shaun Muir Racing with BMW Motorrad providing support and technical know-how.
Team principal Muir concluded: "As a team, the support and enthusiasm shown by BMW Motorrad Motorsport was hugely confidence-building.
"They know exactly what we need to be competitive and the level of backing has made our decision to join them much easier.
"I am incredibly impressed with the amount of technical support we will have and it bodes well for a great season in World Superbikes."