Josh Brookes is set to make a sensational comeback to the MCE British Superbike championship after signing with Anvil Hire Yamaha for 2017.
The 2015 BSB champion returns to the series after a frustrating 2016 campaign in World Superbikes with the SMR-run Milwaukee BMW squad which resulted in the pair parting company at the end of last season.
Looking for a fresh start this year, the Australian returns to the series he competed in between 2009-2015 and back to Yamaha machinery with which he won the 2015 title.
“I am certainly pleased to be back on the bike as it is a known quantity, it isn't like I have to wonder what to expect from the bike and what is possible,” Brookes said. “It is one of those boxes that is already ticked as it has been done before.
“The final decision was quite easy because British Superbikes is the best domestic series in the world at the moment and racing has a big following in Britain so teams can afford to get the sponsorships and pay riders a salary.
"That is what you need to go racing; a competitive bike and the freedom to be relaxed as you know you are making income while risking what you need to get the performance.”
Team boss Rob Winfield is thrilled by capturing the 2015 BSB champion's signature and is confident his TAG Racing squad can deliver what the Australian needs to charge towards the sharp end of the grid.
“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," Winfield said. "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."
Brookes joins alongside the already-announced Shaun Winfield at the TAG Racing-run Anvil Hire Yamaha and becomes the fifth confirmed Yamaha rider on the 2017 BSB grid after his team-mate, the factory-supported McAMS Yamaha duo of James Ellison and Michael Laverty plus Platform Hire Yamaha's Aaron Zanotti.