Josh Brookes will make a sensational return to the MCE British Superbike Championship this season after signing for the Anvil Hire Yamaha team.
The 2015 BSB Champion has signed a one-year contract with the Derbyshire-based team following his one-year hiatus from the series.
The Australian spent the 2016 season in the World Superbike Championship with Milwaukee BMW and ended a difficult year 14th in the standings.
Brookes will once again ride the Yamaha YZF-R1 machine, which took him to the title in spectacular fashion two years ago, and he is excited to get back into the action.
Brookes said: “I’m delighted to have signed a deal for 2017, after coming from a not so positive year in World Superbikes and then taking a long time to get the deal across line I’m pleased it’s all finally come into place. It’s taken a bit of a work, but it’s fantastic that it’s come to a positive finish.
“In one way I’m happy to be back on a Yamaha, it wasn’t the only factor I was focused on but it certainly was a good element to the project that I’m back on a bike that I’ve won on before. It certainly has its advantages and it’s a positive step for me. Knowing what I know about the bike, it does give me confidence, especially my history with it.”
Brookes will no doubt be automatically placed as one of the favourites as we edge near to the new season but he is remaining cautious about the task ahead.
Brookes added: “After winning the Championship in 2015, and now returning on a Yamaha the goal is the Showdown and trying to win the Championship, but there is a certain growth period that we will have to go through together. We can’t put too much pressure on anyone before the first race, but once I grow with the team, that will be expected.”
Brookes dominated the series back in 2015, taking 13 victories and a further 10 podium finishes on what was a brand-new Yamaha R1 bike.
The team’s owner, Rob Winfield, is delighted with his new acquisition and if full of excitement for the season ahead of the team.
He said: “This is certainly the biggest deal we have put together as a team, and I’m extremely proud of how far we have come and signing Josh certainly shows our intention for this year. We want to show the potential we know the Yamaha has, and bringing in the 2015 Champion, who won the title with this very bike is a very exciting prospect.
“Josh is extremely talented, and one tough year in World Superbikes hasn’t turned him into a bad rider overnight. We have a high hopes for him this year, with the extensive testing programme that has been put in place, we certainly are going to hit the ground running.”
Shaun Winfield will also ride for the team once again in 2017, whilst team sponsors Anvil Hire have agreed a one-year extension on their current deal.
The team also announced that R&G has renewed their partnership as the crash protection supplier, following continued growth and an increased presence in the British Superbike paddock.