Last season’s British Superbike Championship runner-up Josh Brookes will push for a second title in 2018 after signing with the works-backed McAMS Yamaha team alongside Taz Mackenzie.
Brookes, whose second place in 2017 was washed over by Leon Haslam’s post-crash Byrne hugs, was very keen to stay on the R1 for another year and believes that he needed to move back into a factory-supported outfit in order to up his game.
“I can’t generate better skills or more talent, being fast is something that happens over a time period and I needed to be able to do more with the bike in order to make more progress,” Brookes told BSN from his Bringelly estate.
“That being said I am very proud of what we achieved last year. I am happy with the results, there are no regrets and there really is nothing negative to say but if I want to win the championship again, something has to change.
“As I said just now, I have to look to the bike to improve my results and I believe the team has more material available. What the factory team has done in WorldSBK is improved and that information is valuable.
“What they have developed will be available for the BSB team in a period of time so I guess the possibility for success is greater with those sorts of things available than where I was last year.”
Brookes was the runaway champion in 2015 with the Milwaukee-backed SMR team and believes he can go past those sorts of performances with the right level of support in 2018.
“The level of support is similar to 2015, I think, in terms of parts but the difference is Yamaha have a Superbike race team now whereas in 2015 we had to put requests through SMR and then using the resources to get the parts made, then test them.
“It was a slow, but valuable, process. This time around it will be quicker because the WorldSBK team has done a couple of years of development using various parts and there are more people putting information in the same pot, which is all to the greater good of the bike.”
Testing is not a big issue for Brookes as he knows the bike inside out now and feels he could turn up at Donington without having ridden the bike.
“I’m not too concerned about testing. I know the bike as it sits and it will be a better level as standard than I rode to second last year. I’m sure the 2018 bike will be as good or better from the get-go.
“I don’t have to go testing to make sure everything is good for my confidence. I have ridden on BSB’s tracks for years on differerent machines for different teams, and I’ve always been able to achieve a high standard.
“I think that it will be good for Tarran to get in a lot of time, even on a stock bike, but for myself, I think I could turn up at the first round having not turned a wheel and still put on a good show.”