Eazi Grip

Josh Brookes and Mike Browne join Russell Racing TT line-up

The Boyce Precision Engineering by Russell Racing team will field an impressive line-up in the Monster Energy Supersport class at the Isle of Man TT Races having secured the services of Josh Brookes and Mike Browne.

The duo will campaign Yamaha YZF-R6 machinery in the two four-lap races for Alister Russell’s team and will look to emulate the feats of the outgoing Dean Harrison and James Hillier who recorded a brace of podiums and a top six finish respectively at last year’s event.

For Brookes, a former World Supersport race winner and Australian Supersport champion, it marks a first return to the class since the 2018 TT having opted out of the 600cc races on his return to the Mountain Course last year.

The double British Superbike Champion is no stranger to the Supersport machine at the TT though having contested five races in 2014, 2017 and 2018. Out of luck on the Milwaukee Yamaha in 2014, he deputised for John McGuinness on the Jackson Racing Honda in 2017 where he finished 11th in the only race to take place that year.

The following year, he switched to the McAMS Yamaha where, after setting the fourth quickest time in qualifying, he took a brace of sixth place finishes in the two races. He set his quickest ever lap on a 600cc machine, 126.602mph, in the second race that year.

“I had a bit of FOMO in the Supersport races last year and had a couple of opportunities pop up for potentially riding in the class this year, so I had the luxury of some choices to make,” said Brookes.

“Alister’s bike was the most attractive to me and that’s why I chose to contact him and further the conversation to get the deal across the line. Now that it’s all in place, I’m looking forward to being on the middleweight bike again and see how the 600 performs.”

For Browne, it will be the third consecutive year he’s been astride the Yamaha YZF-R6 after riding for the Burrows Engineering/RK Racing team at the last two editions of the TT. After taking ninth and 15th in 2022, machinery problems meant the Irish Supersport Road Race Champion had just a single finish last year, 12th, where he set a new personal best lap in the class at 123.732mph. He did, however, lap at more than 125mph during qualifying.

“I’m obviously delighted to be joining Alister and the team,” said Browne. “I was very surprised when we first talked and that he might be interested in running me this year as he’s obviously had a very high calibre of riders these last few years. I don’t think I’m at the level of the riders he’s had but with his experience and what he’s proven he can do these last few years; I’m hoping he can bring me to that level.”

“I love the way him and the team go about their racing. They just get it done and do all their talking on the track. I’m just looking forward now to going testing and getting comfortable on the bikes ahead of the TT.”

Russell himself has plenty of experience at the TT having previously worked with Keith Amor, TAS Racing and William Dunlop with the team continuing to receive backing from Dunlop’s former sponsors IC Racing and Caffrey International and he’s excited about the new line-up.

“The boys are capable, and the bikes are capable so with the experience and knowledge we’ve gained since setting up the team, we’re confident of another good showing at the TT,” he said. “Josh is very experienced and a good addition to the team whilst he showed last year in the Supertwin TT races just how good he can be on the smaller machines. His record in every class speaks for itself so with a good practice week, I’d like to think he can challenge for a podium.”

“Mike’s arguably the best up and coming rider in the sport with a lot of potential still untapped. He knows the bike so should settle in quickly and, hopefully, we can bring him on further and get him higher up the results sheets. Finally, I must say a big thank you to BPE, Caffrey International and IC Racing as without them, there wouldn’t be a team.”

Posted on Monday, February 19th, 2024 in News

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