In 2004, Brookes won the World Supersport round at Philip Island as a wild card before a serious crash ended his year. He returned, however, to win the Australian Superbike and Supersport titles in 2005 on a Honda.
For 2006, he moved to World Supersport with Caracchi Ducati but left the team mid-season despite a sixth place at his home round in Australia. Brookes joined Bertocchi Kawasaki in the World Superbike Championship, debuting at Mugello and then running as high as fourth in a wet race at Assen before crashing.
Josh did enough to be retained for 2007 with the team switching to the Honda Fireblade but despite strong finishes in the first half of the season, he left and joined the Stiggy Motorsport Honda team in the World Supersport Championship for the final part of the season.
He continued with them in the 2008 World Supersport Championship whereby he scored his second career win (and Stiggy's first) at Donington Park, moving up to second in the championship. He also made a one-off appearance in the British Supersport Championship for HM Plant Honda at the final round at Brands Hatch, qualifying on pole and finishing third in the race.
For 2009, Brookes switched to British Superbikes with HM Plant Honda, but he was forced to miss the opening round due to visa issues. Round three at Donington Park was also a disaster, as Brookes collided with Sylvain Guintoli on the sighting lap, causing a broken leg for the Frenchman for which Josh received a one-race suspended ban as a result. He was involved in further controversy at Mallory Park where he was adjudged to have been at fault for a crash which saw him banned for two races but still ended up fourth in the title race.
For 2010 Brookes stayed with the HM Plant Honda team and took his first BSB win in the fourth race of the season at Thruxton. He also took a win at Cadwell Park and two wins at Snetterton to end up as runner-up behind team-mate Ryuichi Kiyonari.
He also made a British Superstock entry in the MotoGP support round at Silverstone, and a World Superbike appearance substituting for injured countryman Broc Parkes at Phillip Island.
2011 saw Josh switch to the Relentless TAS Suzuki team but made a poor start to the season with a massive crash at Oulton Park although by mid-season he started to get good results and ended up fifth in the standings with wins at Brands Hatch and Silverstone.
He remained with the same team for 2012 and with four wins and a further 15 podium finishes, he ended up in second place in the BSB series behind arch-rival Shane Byrne on Paul Bird’s Kawasaki. Four wins at Brands Hatch and another at Oulton Park saw Brookes finish third in the final table on his final season in 2013 with the Tyco TAS Suzuki squad.
A switch to the Milwaukee Yamaha team on the brand-new R1 followed for 2014 and another four wins saw the Aussie end up in fourth place in the standings but sticking with the same team for 2015, he dominated the series to win his inaugural BSB title after another titanic scrap with PBM rider Shane Byrne.
The team and Brookes ventured off to the World Superbike Championship for 2016 meaning Josh didn’t defend his BSB title but it proved to be a difficult season with a best result of seventh in Germany aboard the factory-backed BMW to end the year in 14th place.
It was back to BSB in 2017 and a return to Yamaha with the Anvil Hire TAG Team where Brookes missed out on the crown by a mere three points, again to Byrne, despite winning the final race, meaning he had to settle for runner-up spot for a third time. 2018 saw Josh move to the McAMS Yamaha team and despite three wins, had to settle for fourth in the standings before signing for Be Wiser Ducati to race in BSB 2019. There, he won ten races, including a triple at the final round at Brands Hatch to miss out on the title by just five points to team-mate Scott Redding.
However, the Bedfordshire-based Aussie made amends by landing his second BSB crown in 2020, winning five races and scoring an additional five podiums in the COVID-shortened season which comprised just 18 races. He will run the number 1 plate as defending champion in this season’s title defense.
In addition to Josh’s short circuit prowess, he is an established racer at the TT, becoming the fastest newcomer at the time with a lap of 127.726mph, and has a string of top ten finishes. He has also scored a podium finishes at the NW200 and the Suzuki 8 Hour race too.
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