“Will Race Motorcycles for Food” could have been the phrase on the sign of Josh Brookes, who so badly wants to be on the starting grid of the World Superbikes races at Phillip Island.
This is 2017, however, and rather than stand on the corner in the hopes of attracting donations for various and sundry items necessary to compete, Brookes enlisted social media and launched a crowd-funding effort.
It is slightly perplexing that some forms of racing attract huge sums of money, whilst others seem to be perpetually scrounging.
Brookes, for example, will race as a wildcard in the first round of the WSBK season, despite winning the British Superbikes title in 2015. To add insult to injury, he will be riding the same Yamaha motorcycle on which he won that title. Can you imagine the angst if Lewis Hamilton was asked to drive the same F1 car he used two years ago?
Of course, the term “scrounging” is relative, as Brookes has burned through his $100,000 budget for the upcoming season before one green flag has fallen and needs to come up with $30,000 if he intends to ride the two races at Phillip at the end of February.