BSB EXCLUSIVE: Josh Brookes - Q&A

In Australia, you can't race properly until you're 16 so I had quite a few years to wait and in the meantime kept racing dirt bikes.
Looking at the way you ride, is it the thrill that attracts you?

Josh Brookes:
No it's not that, it's the freedom. It's the only time you feel properly free.

Everything in life is controlled - how much you earn, how fast you can drive, how much tax you've got to pay and even if there's no law there is always the restriction of what's acceptable. You've got to watch what you say so you don't offend anybody, you can't criticise anybody or speak in a way which might be seen as offensive. When I'm on the bike it's the only time I feel properly free. It's all my own choices, it's what I can do and where I can take it.
So when you jump that high at Cadwell Park you don't do it for the thrill of it?

Josh Brookes:It's a combination of things. When you get it right you get a sense of thrill and enjoyment, though I do believe that it's quicker anyway.

It's great that people want to see me do it. I get a great kickback from the fans because they're all stood by the fence waiting for you to come round and jump and I get a good feeling from that.

There is an element of showmanship to it, I enjoy that people get something in return for it. I'm there just doing what I like doing anyway and it's great that people are thrilled to watch it happen. I think they get that sense of excitement and fear just by being close.
Do you get a sense of fear?

Josh Brookes:
Of course, there's always the possibility that any corner can go wrong. You can always see the danger of what you're doing.

It's something you consider but you've got to learn to control it. If it controlled me I couldn't do it, I wouldn't go on track, I wouldn't do the jump and I wouldn't take corners. Obviously there's fear, it's just something I have to control and am conscious of.
What was the motivation to do the TT?

Josh Brookes:
It's just the most extreme version of what I do. I've raced motorbikes all my life and I've always wanted to take it as far as it will go, be that to ride the fastest lap or the most demanding track. I've always wanted to get to the pinnacle.

You set yourself a goal as a kid and you strive for it until you achieve it or die trying. I've still got all those goals in place and with the Isle of Man TT being one of the most extreme of them, I felt I had to do it to achieve self-satisfaction. If I hadn't done it I would probably have regretted never doing the TT.
You use the word 'pinnacle', do you regard the TT as being the pinnacle of the sport?

Josh Brookes:
Status wise it's not the pinnacle of the sport because MotoGP is and that has to be the position you want to arrive at, but the TT holds a very high position in my personal estimation. Racing today owes it all to the Isle of Man because that's where motorcycle racing started. At the turn of the last century when bike manufacturers wanted to prove their skills they did it there and that's where true competitive riding was born.

The English government said it was illegal to ride at more than 40mph and if you were caught racing you were in trouble, so the Isle of Man government was approached because they were independent and made their own rules and they created the event and it's run ever since. So motorcycle racing of any kind started in 1907 at the Isle of Man.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Josh Brookes Tyco Suzuki - picture credit Ian Hopgood Photography
Jason O`Halloran, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Josh Brookes, Anvil Hire Yamaha, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Luke Mossey, JG Speedfit Kawasaki, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Peter Hickman, Smiths BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tommy Bridewell, Team WD-40 Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Bradley Ray, Buildbase Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Sylvain Guintoli, Bennetts Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
James Ellison, McAMS Yamaha [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Alastair Seeley, Tyco BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Lee Jackson, Smiths Racing BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Haslam, Byrne, Mossey, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]

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July 09, 2013 4:20 PM

As far as I'm concerned, I find Josh's attitude to racing refreshing. He always goes for the pass and I like the fact that he never settles. In these days of managed PR, it's great to have someone who talks straight.

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