Josh Brookes to race for PBM Ducati at 2022 Northwest 200

Josh Brookes is heading back to the roads, with the Australian confirmed to be racing the North West 200 later this year. 

Josh Brookes, Glenn Irwin, 2022 Silvestone BSB. [credit: Ian Hopgood Photography]

TWO-times British Superbike Champion Josh Brookes will be getting back out in a road race at this year’s North West 200, it has been announced. 

Brookes will be riding for the PBM Ducati team he also races for in British Superbikes, and with which he won the 2020 British Superbike Championship. 

PBM have a strong history at the North West with Ducati, as they won both Superbike races there with Glenn Irwin in 2018, the final year of the V-twin Panigale. 

Brookes will be the first rider to race the Panigale V4 R at the NW200 this year, as he makes his return to the race after eight years away.

The Australian was the fastest newcomer back in 2013, when he debuted with TAS Racing and their Suzuki. The year after would prove to be his last appearance at the North West before 2022, and then he was able to set a lap record with SMR’s Yamaha YZF-R1.

Recently, it was announced by Michael Dunlop at the 2022 Isle of Man TT launch last Saturday that the 19-time TT winner will not be riding the PBM Ducati superbike this year as had previously been planned. 

As such, it could be possible that the appearance of Brookes at the North West is something of a ‘test’ ahead of the Isle of Man TT, which begins at the end of May, two weeks after the North West ends. 

In an interview published on the Belfast Telegraph website, Brookes said, “I think a lot of money and logistical things have been put in place to do these events and it is difficult now not to do it. I am not taking anyone else’s position but a door has opened for me and I am happy to do the job.”

Brookes also said, “I’ve been there before and came very near to winning. I think I am absolutely a contender for a Superbike race win at the North West 200.”

Time will tell whether victory contention becomes the reality for Brookes at this year’s North West 200, which takes place on 8-14 May 2022.