Josh Brookes confirms WSBK Phillip Island wildcard
Josh Brookes will be the sole Aussie wildcard at the Phillip Island round of the 2017 Superbike World Championship from February 24-26.
Brookes will ride the same Yamaha YZF-R1M he won the 2015 British Superbike title on.
The Yamaha was purchased by former road racer Deon Coote, who now runs a Melbourne-based road construction company, Elite Roads, the major backer of Brookes’ Phillip Island campaign.
“Deon was looking to buy a bike out of the UK, built and prepped,” said Brookes, who will return to the BSB title in 2017 with the Anvil TAG Yamaha squad.
“I started helping him out and we sourced my BSB bike – and then it got to the stage where Deon said, ‘we might as well do something good with it’.”
Brookes was phenomenal on the YZF-R1M in the 2015 BSB title, winning 13 of the last 16 races as he won the series ahead of long-time adversary Shane Byrne.
Brookes competed in the 2016 WorldSBK round at Phillip Island on a BMW S 1000 RR.
Brookes will be one of four riders on Yamahas at the Phillip Island WorldSBK round, in a crack field of 22 that also includes dual world champion Jonathan Rea, Tom Sykes (Kawasaki), Chaz Davies (Ducati), Nicky Hayden (Honda), Alex Lowes (Yamaha), Leon Camier (MV Agusta) and returning riders Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) and Marco Melandri (Ducati). German Stefan Bradl (Honda) will also make the switch to the production-based series from MotoGP.
Jerez, Portimao and Phillip Island all feature on the WorldSBK test schedule over the next few weeks with the two-day Aussie hitout on February 20-21 the final shakedown ahead of the Championship opener.