Photo credit to Gareth Davies of Full Factory Media. Find his other images hereJosh Brookes returns to the BSB paddock this season and has took the time to do a short interview, where we talk about WSBK, his BSB return, whether or not he will be as competitive as before amongst other things. Be sure to keep an eye on Brookes as he showcases his talents and flexes his muscles once more, this time with the Anvil Hire Yamaha team, alongside Shaun Winfield.
What can we expect from you in 2017?
You can expect what you know I’m capable of. When the bike is right and it’s all working well then, I can win a championship; as you saw in WSBK, when things aren’t organised or prepared well then I can only get mediocre results in comparison to what you’ve experienced before.
How is this team compared to the SMR Team?
I was with the Milwaukee team for three seasons so I know them very well, with how they operate and they have a very professional presence in the paddock, whereas the Tag Racing team are a more family based team, with a very family atmosphere. We are only at the first round so I can’t predict how they will be as the weeks and months go on but so far, they’re doing everything they can to give me a bike in the most professional way possible. So far it is all good.
At what point did you know that you were going for BSB and not staying in WSBK?
I was sort of holding off in the off season. I didn’t sign until very late because I didn’t want to sign to something I wasn’t happy or comfortable with. I didn’t want to come back to BSB just for the sake of coming back – I wanted to come back and win again. I wanted to hold off and see if I could pick up a ride as a replacement to someone who got injured and roll the dice. I was looking to do other things; I’d already done the British before and I hadn’t secured a ride with the world scene but I didn’t want to commit to something. Now I’m with Anvil Yamaha, I have committed. It wouldn’t matter if Valentino Rossi’s ride became available, I can’t take it. I was open to the idea of not signing up and just doing round by round, getting enough money together to get me by, However, when this deal came along it was stupid not to take it. It’s a good bike in a good team with a good salary so it is all that I needed to be able to come back and best strong.
Do you think you will be as dominant as 2015 with the line-up this year?
I think it will hard to be as dominant as I was at the end 2015. I hope to still be able to win races and fight for the championship for sure, but absolutely I agree that the championship looks to be a thicker field now and that makes it harder to win races. In 2015, I came from the back of the grid and finished 4th, whereas now when you’ve got so many competitive riders, you’ll never be able to achieve such a comeback. The battle for 7th to 9th are just as hard to win as the battle for the win itself. It makes dominating an event or series a lot harder than before with such competition.
With big names coming into BSB, do you feel that you’re occupying a seat that could be for someone who’s trying to come through the paddock?
I think when I was a young kid coming through in Australia, the grid was full of the best superbike riders in the Australian period. They were the guys that I aspired to and had to beat if I wanted to become champion. You should look to try and beat the best that’s there and not in a year when there’s less quality there. Look at MotoGP. Rookies coming up and beating the MotoGP regulars. I think it is a better example of the rider and how they will be in the future to come and beat the best riders on the grid. That’s what they need to be focused on instead of thinking they’re being missed out. I think also with the British series is that it’s a good platform for any rider. For example, me coming over to the Tag Team. A lot of people were sceptical of me doing well because of previous seasons and their results. If you have the calibre of rider then any team can do well. They stand a chance because the rules are so fair and equal, it gives the family run teams a chance to compete against the more factory teams.
If you won the championship this year, would it be better than the first?
I have to agree with you that because it is so stacked, it is going to be more difficult to win. I certainly thought the 2015 series was difficult with the new machine – I was on the podium every round but it took me a long time to win. Once we got a bike in a range that was suitable for my style and riding and the team were comfortable with working at the bike, we were able to dominate. I think it will be more difficult to dominate this time round, so to answer your question I’d be more thrilled this time than the first time.
Can you win the title?
I believe so. We are only at round one so it’s very difficult to predict what will happen. I’ve been good so far so I think we can definitely be in the hunt and up for the fight.
Kiko Giles @MotoGPKiko