WSBK 2016: Brookes and Abraham with BMW Milwaukee
British Superbike 2015 winners Josh Brookes and Shaun Muir’s Milwaukee team will step up to World Superbike next year! Australian champion trades Yamaha R1 for BMW S1000RR to team up with MotoGP rider Karel Abraham.
Troy Bayliss, Neil Hodgson, Shane Byrne, Ryuichi Kiyonari, Leon Camier, Alex Lowes: all these riders have in common that they won the British Superbike title before leading – even dominating – the World Superbike Championship.
Next year, it will be Joshua Brookes’ turn to prove himself at the international level: titled this year in British Superbike with the Yamaha Milwaukee team on the all new R1 (see the), the Australian rider climbs into WSBK with the same team in 2016.
"I’m very excited to return to World SBK, and doing it with the team I won the BSB title with is perfect", says Josh who has already participated in 35 WSBK races between 2006 and 2012 but has never played an entire season and only obtained 7th place as a better result ().
More successful in World Supersport (seven podiums and two victories, the first of which dates back to his wildcard at Phillip Island in 2004), "Brookesy" finished third in his only full season internationally. It was in, on the Honda CBR600RR of the Honda Stiggy Motorsport team.
At the forefront for the last six years in British Superbike (on Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha), Josh had a very good first half of the season in 2015, during which he only came down from the podium once in ten races.
From the sixth round, the Milwaukee rider moved up a gear: his new R1 well in hand, the n ° 25 became almost unbeatable, collecting no less than 13 wins in 16 rounds! Four-time British champion Shane Byrne Himself had to bow…
Next year, Mister Brookes will therefore tackle the World Superbike again, with the team that led him to the English title … but on a different bike: the Milwaukke team abandons the Yamaha R1 – which will be – for the benefit of the BMW S1000RR !
"I have never raced on a BMW but the bike and the factory have already demonstrated their potential and I am sure to be competitiveJosh assures us.Having the support of BMW Motorrad Motorsport is crucial for our project and having their experts by our side will be of great help.".
Like the BMW Althea team which will enter Jordi Torres and Markus Reiterberger next year, the BMW Milwaukee team will be "responsible for the development of the bike throughout the season and will also take care of the sporting and logistical aspects surrounding its participation in the championship".
In line with the Bavarian brand’s new sports program, "BMW Motorrad Motorsport will provide technical support and know-how thanks to the experts who will work with the team throughout the season and will also supply engines and electronics.", explains Shaun Muir, big boss of the SMR team (Shaun Muir Racing, what else?) supported by Milwaukee tools.
In view of the first tests of the Italian team Althea in, the German formula is promising: the German champion "Reiti" was running at the same pace as the Ninja Tom Sykes while he was discovering the Andalusian circuit, while the "Spanish Elvis" n was not very far either as he tamed the S1000RR…
"At the start of the season, I rode in the German championship and during the race, which I finished in third place, I found myself in a fight with a few guys and I said to myself that it was easier than to fight vs. Shakey Byrne", testified Brookes on the evening of his coronation in BSB 2015.
What will be the level of performance of this new BMW driver? We will find out in a few weeks: "we will do our first tests in early january before heading to Phillip Island, where I will be eager to race in front of my fans", rejoices the native of Sydney who will celebrate his 33 years on April 28.
How will the paddock receive this "Bad Boy"? A bad boy image has indeed stuck to him since the BSB 2009 season: he had mown our dear Guintoli during a warm-up lap at Donington Park and had been suspended two events for causing a pile-up in Mallory Park…
On the other side of the BMW Milwaukee box will install a driver whose image can also be improved: Karel Abraham, Grand Prix driver for 11 years and registered in, but whose only achievements are two podiums – including one victory all the same! – during his only season in Moto2.
"Joining World SBK with a team like BMW Milwaukee is very exciting", says the Czech pilot."It will be a challenge because I have never ridden a Superbike and there will be a lot of new circuits for me, but I am sure we will adapt.".
Before that, the n ° 17 must make sure to be in good shape: his foot injury handicapped him throughout this 2015 season and this pain should not reappear next year. Any GP driver that he is, he will have to be at 100% (or even 110%) to hope to fight at the forefront in WSBK … To be continued on MNC: stay tuned !
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