Australian motorcycle racer Josh Brookes piloted his Norton V4-RR SG6 to sixth place in the 2017 Senior Isle of Man TT, setting the fastest-ever lap around the TT course by a Norton machine with 130.883 mph. The 34-year-old will again represent the Norton factory in this year’s RST Superbike and PokerStars Senior TT Races, on a V4 RR SG7 hand-built at Norton’s Donington Hall factory.
Norton confirmed this morning who will pilot its second bike after fellow Aussie David Johnson jumped to the Gulf BMW team in late January. Whispers of either 23-time TT winner John McGuinness or Michael Dunlop were building to a silent crescendo recently. McGuinness, who missed last year’s TT races due to serious injuries sustained in the North West 200, got the seat.
“It was a real honor to represent Norton last year,” Brookes said. “After a couple of years away it took me a bit of time to get dialed in again, and despite the weather disruption I really felt comfortable by the end of race week. I’m raring to go again and build on last year with the team and add to their history around the Isle of Man.”
Added McGuinness, “I didn’t want to end my career due to an injury, but the truth is I didn’t know whether I would be able to come back as I didn’t know how fit I was going to be. Right now, things are going well. The plan is to get the external fixator cage off my leg by the end of this month and after that, we can start working toward getting bike fit and testing.”
“There are only a handful of riders capable of competing for podiums and race wins at the TT, and in Josh Brookes we have a rider with the ability and potential to rewrite the record books,” Norton CEO Stuart Garner said. “Josh’s involvement in the team not only gives us a competitive position on the track but also means we put into practice what we learn on the Isle of Man for our road bike.
“We’ve been talking to John for a year or more. He’s the man at the TT with the total experience, the results, and the pedigree. To get John in the Norton team with his experience and knowledge available is fabulous. Norton will seize the opportunity to get John involved in all aspects of the bike. Everyone in the factory has got a huge buzz. It’s pretty special.
"Putting John McGuiness and Norton together is a dream team," Garner concluded, "but we know all results at the TT are hard earned whatever your name.”