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Mike Nicks: Brookes and his Classic TT challenges

So, the sought-after Winfield Racing 500cc Paton goes to Josh Brookes for the Senior Classic TT. All good - a class rider linked with a pedigree team (the injured John McGuinness won the race for Winfield last year).

But we should also appreciate the challenges facing Brookes. The 34-year-old Australian will be making his debut at the Classic TT, and is still on a learning curve on the Mountain Circuit. He will  also miss the first night’s practice on Saturday, August 19 because he rides the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha at the BSB round at Cadwell Park the next day. He will join the Isle of Man jinks for the Monday night’s practice. That’s how racers live.

Brookes is also confronted by some very different machinery from his 200bhp BSB Yamaha, with its common ECU unit. His mount for the Superbike Classic TT is the 588cc, 124bhp Wiz Norton Rotary, while his Senior ride delivers just 75bhp from its twin-cam, parallel-twin motor.


Superbikes are allowed a quick-shifter at the Classic TT, but even that luxury is prohibited in the Senior race. It's just man, machine and circuit.

After his two sixth places in the June TT races, and a ripping fastest lap of 130.883mph, Brookes will be a centre of attention at the Classic TT. At least there are no wild expectations from Winfield chief Roger Winfield.

“There's no pressure on him from us,” he said. “We don't expect a John McGuinness type performance. It would be nice if Josh could make the rostrum, but mainly I hope that he enjoys riding the bike - that's important to me.”

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