Josh Brookes will ride his 2015 MCE British Superbike-winning Yamaha R1 for a wildcard entry to the opening round of World Superbikes at Phillip Island with ER Motorsports.
The Australian squad has acquired Brookes' BSB title-winning machine from the UK and will alter it to World Superbike specification in time for the 2017 season opener.
Brookes, who has secured a return to BSB with Anvil Hire Yamaha for 2017 plus a deal with Norton to race at the Isle of Man TT, is keen to get the bike feeling like it did when he clinched the 2015 BSB title and is relishing the challenge having had fond memories at his home circuit.
“Firstly, I want to express my gratitude to Deon [Coote, team boss] at ER Motorsports for investing in this project,” Brookes said. “It's a huge cost and there are very few people in the world who would do this for no return but for the passion of racing. When he suggested the plan to me, I was very eager to assist in making it happen.
“This idea is particularly interesting to me because I'm as intrigued as the rest of the world to know what I can do on a Yamaha in WorldSBK. We know the engine will be below the factory spec but it doesn't matter because the point is to find out where the BSB bike would finish."
Coote, a long-time backer of Brookes, is confident the Australian rider will be able to produce a strong showing for ER Motorsports due to the combination of pieces forming ahead of Phillip Island.
“I'm an ex-racer myself, racing is in your blood - you just can't get it out,” Coote said. “A situation arose where I had an opportunity to put back into the sport I love, and as I can't race myself, this is the next best thing.
“I have high expectations going into this project, I've known Josh for more than 10 years and I believe with the calibre of rider he is, the bike he's proven on, plus racing at our home track, it's a great combination for success.”