Josh Brookes

Josh Brookes

Josh Brookes remains one of the main talking points at the Isle of Man TT as one can’t help but wonder what he would have achieved if he’d contested the event year on year after making his debut in 2013. 

Brookes became the fastest ever newcomer that year but although he returned in 2014, improving both his results and speeds, he then missed the following two years as his British and then World Superbike Championship commitments took over.

The Australian, who now has two British Superbike titles to his name and is the second most successful in terms of wins and podiums, made his first comeback to TT in 2017 and 2018 where he rode for a variety of teams across the classes. As expected, Josh excelled in all of them, although he may well have been disappointed not to have finished on the podium in the 2018 Monster Energy Supersport TT Races on the McAMS Yamaha.

It was his performance on the Norton in the 2017 and 2018 RST Superbike and Milwaukee Senior TT Races that stood out and didn’t get the credit they deserved. Josh finished all four races inside the top ten, three of them being inside the top eight. He ended on a high too with an excellent ride in the 2018 Senior, finishing fifth having lapped at a superb 131.745mph.

That made him the fastest Australian around the Mountain Course and the fastest ever on the Norton but, again, he was missing from the TT in subsequent years with his PBM Ducati team, who he rode for in BSB between 2019 and 2022, opting out of the TT.

Back in 2023, returning after a five-year gap was a big ask but there’s a reason why the now 40-year old is regarded as one of the best ever riders to have graced the BSB series and, arguably, the one with the most talent of anyone on the TT entry. Concentrating initially on just a Superstock bike for the FHO Racing team, his speeds increased throughout qualifying opening his account in race week with seventh in the RST Superbike race.

Retirement in the RL360 Superstock TT Race 1 after just a couple of hundred yards cost him valuable mileage but he went on to take fifth in both the second Superstock and Senior races, upping his pace in the latter to an extremely impressive 132.529mph. Keen to get as much track time as possible, he also added the Supertwin races to his schedule after a last-minute deal with Dafabet/RC Express Racing and, after taking fifth in the first race, he notched up his first ever TT podium with third place in the second race.

Brookes said afterwards he needs to be competing in all classes, like his rivals, in order to maximise his track time and this is what he’ll be doing in 2024 where he’ll be continuing with the FHO Racing team for the 1000cc classes. Being Peter Hickman’s team-mate is no easy task at the TT but there’s no doubt Brookes has the potential to lap at similar speeds and win a TT. If he hadn’t missed four years of track action around the Mountain Course he could well already have done that but he still has time on his side to fulfill that dream.

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