Team Winfield are arguably one of the most known teams in the Classic TT. They’ve run in the event since 2013 with roads legend John McGuinness, and last year they enjoyed success as McGuinness crossed the line twenty seconds ahead of Dean Harrison for the win and achieved a new lap record of 113.342mph in the process.
And they’ll be fighting the Classic again this year, but this time with a different rider. British Superbike star Josh Brookes has been drafted in to replace an injured McGuinness, who was lined-up to race for Roger Winfield’s team once more until his crash at the Northwest 200 ruled him out of road racing for the year. Brookes will be contesting the Bennetts Senior Classic TT race on the same 500cc Paton that McGuinness rode to victory twelve months ago.
Of course, Brookes is no stranger to road racing. He returned to the Isle of Man TT this year on the SG6 Norton and secured a sixth place finish in the Pokerstars Senior TT, lapping close to 131mph. He also contested the Bennetts Lightweight TT race and again took sixth place with the IEG/KMR Kawasaki – a team owned by seasoned road racer Ryan Farquhar.
This will be Brookes’ first Classic TT, but his skill and talent combined with Winfield’s expertise makes for a great partnership. Speaking of his Classic TT debut, Brookes said:
“It’s great to be riding the team Winfield Paton at the Classic TT. The team and the bike clearly have pedigree having won last year’s race and setting a new lap record. It’s going to be a steep learning curve for me with a type of bike I have no experience of riding, but I am looking forward to the challenge and will give it my all to give Roger and the team a good result.”
Team owner Roger Winfield commented, “We were deeply saddened when John (McGuinness) was ruled out after his crash at the North West 200. Working with John has been a real highlight for our team over the past few years and after some terrible luck we showed what we are capable of last year when he won the race and moved the lap record on considerably.
“Hopefully he will continue to mend well and we look forward to be able to work with him again in the future.”
“The task of replacing the most successful living TT rider has been a difficult one and we would have been forced to miss the event if we couldn’t find a rider of the very highest calibre to fill John’s boots so we were delighted when Josh Brookes agreed to join our team.
“While not as experienced on the Mountain Course as some of the riders in the field, there is no question about his skill level, and his results impressed everyone at this year’s TT after two years away.
“We will give Josh a great bike which hopefully he will get a lot of enjoyment out of riding, and we will see where we all end up after a week’s qualifying and four fast laps in the race itself.”