Former title winner moves into official Yamaha team for this season.
Australian mainstay Josh Brookes will remain aboard a YZF-R1 for the 2018 British Superbike Championship (BSB) after signing with the factory-supported McAMS Yamaha team.
Brookes, 34, will have his title chances boosted for the new year after transferring to the official Yamaha team, following his impressive runner-up result with the private Anvil Hire Yamaha squad last year.
“It opens up a whole lot of new opportunities, having official Yamaha support,” Brookes told CycleOnline.com.au. “Whatever development the World Superbike (WorldSBK) guys have done, which at the end of last year appeared to be good steps forward, that information will be available to us.
“Also, carrying on from when I was in the official role with Yamaha in 2015, we made some good progress with their support. So to be merged with a more official team and to have more special parts than a private team’s going to normally have, it should be a bit of a boost to my results.
“The reason Yamaha kind of reached out and asked me to come and join the official team was because they could see I was gaining the best Yamaha results on a privateer bike, so it would look better if the best results were on the official bike. I can understand that motivation to get the results back in-house and it suits me too, because it provides me the best support to get better results than what I was already getting last year.”
Set for a second-consecutive year back aboard a Yamaha in BSB following a troubled one-off WorldSBK return riding a BMW in 2016, Brookes has all but turned his back on a return to the world championship. He’s focused on regaining the BSB crown and stands his best chance yet since dominating the back-part of the 2015 season to claim the top domestic championship.
“That idea and that dream of making your career bigger and better is something that will never die,” he added. “The WorldSBK thing is always going to be a desire, but I wasn’t even really expecting to go in 2016, it’s just that opportunity came up and it looked like a good one before the season. I don’t really hold high hopes of putting myself in that situation again.
“The British championship is great to me, I’ve got a huge following and they treat me like I’m meant to be there. Unless something dramatic changes, I have no real desire and I can make a career out of it in the UK, so I’ll continue to do that.”