Josh Brookes 'raring to go' as Norton deal for 2018 confirmed

Josh Brookes finished sixth on the Norton in the Senior race at the Isle of Man TT last year.

Josh Brookes says he is ‘raring to go’ at this year’s Isle of Man TT after signing with Norton for a second successive season.

On Monday, the Australian rider was confirmed as Norton’s first signing for 2018 and although there has been plenty of speculation surrounding the possibility of John McGuinness joining the team, CEO Stuart Garner said there was ‘no news on further riders at this time’.

Australia's Josh Brookes has been announced as Norton's first signing for the 2018 Isle of Man TT.

David Johnson rode for Norton in 2016 and 2017 but the Aussie has has joined SMR this year to ride the Gulf BMW machines.

After a two-year absence from the TT, British Superbike contender Brookes set the fastest lap ever by a Norton machine last year at 130.883mph in the Senior race on his way to sixth place.

The 34-year-old said he it was an honour to race for the legendary British marque around the Mountain Course.

Speaking from his home in Australia, Brookes said: “It was a real honour to represent Norton last year. After a couple of years away it took me a bit of time to get dialled 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.”

Brookes will ride the SG7 machine in the Superbike and Senior races. Former Senior TT winner Steve Plater will continue as Norton’s development rider.

Norton boss Garner said he was confident of further progress this year with Brookes on board once more at the TT.

“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.

“Josh’s involvement in the team not only gives us a competitive position on the track but also means that we put into practice what we learn on the Isle of Man for our road bike.

“The most important thing for us as a team and a company is that we always move forward, always look to build on and improve on what we’ve achieved,” Garner added.

“I’m more confident than ever that that’s what we’ll be doing again this year as we look to establish Norton at the front of the field on and off the track.”

Brookes made his debut at the TT in 2013 and claimed the fastest newcomer award. The following year, he finished seventh in the Senior race and lapped at 129.850mph in only his second appearance at the event.

More from Sport