Billy McConnell retains ZX-10R British Superbike ride for 2017
FS-3 Racing has announced Billy McConnell will return with the team for the 2017 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship and have also revealed a new title partnership with Quattro Plant for the forthcoming season.
FS-3 will continue their association with Kawasaki for their second season in the championship, already beginning their preparations with the ZX10-R ahead of further upgrades in the New Year when the new RR homologation model becomes available.
Quattro Plant have a long association within the British Championship paddock and this new partnership continues their presence into 2017.
Australian McConnell will remain with the team for a second season after some strong finishes in their debut year and will be joined by James Rispoli who will line up in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship, alongside wildcard appearances in MCE BSB. The American joins the team on a two-year deal that will see him return full-time to the Superbike class in 2018.
“This is really exciting for me to return with the team for next season. We have some great work going on behind the scenes and I am ready to move forward again in 2017. It is so important to have consistency in this championship and that is what we need to take into next year. I want to be aiming for consistent top ten finishes with top fives too and then we will see what happens. We want to come back stronger and together we are working hard to come out fighting from round one.”
“I think 2017 is going to be a huge year for us; we have a two-year deal to be in Superstock next season with a mix of Superbike at the end of the year with Kawasaki. I’m really excited as working with Nigel and the team is everything I could wish for. I see next year as a diagonal step, it is the best option for me and puts me in a great position for 2018. We are all very excited to get the new season underway; FS-3 is a great, professional team who want to make the next step forward and support each other all the way. I think I can grow with this team and manufacturer – it is huge for me. Our goal is to win the Superstock title and bring it home for Kawasaki.”
Team owner Nigel Snook
“We learnt a lot during our first year in the MCE BSB Championship and plan to put that experience to good use next season. I’m delighted that the team has attracted backing from Quattro Plant, who are great supporters of the series. Billy is looking forward to a winter of hard training in preparation for riding our new Superbike and building on the progress he made with us this year. James knows that next year’s Superstock Championship is going to be really competitive, particularly with increased manufacturer interest, but we are confident he will be running at the front. Towards the end of the season we hope to be able to enter James as a wildcard on a second Superbike too. As a team, we can’t wait to get our testing programme started now ready for our second season.”
Suzuki and Hawk Racing join forces for 2017 MCE BSB assault
Suzuki has announced a new partnership with Hawk Racing for 2017, that will see the Japanese manufacturer field a two-rider line-up in the MCE British Superbike Championship with the new GSX-R1000, while also racing the all-new machine in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 series.
Running the new GSX-R – which boasts technology taken directly from Suzuki’s GSX-RR MotoGP racer – sees Hawk Racing become one of only four superbike teams worldwide to be officially supported by the firm in 2017, joining the illustrious company of the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT), as well as both the Yoshimura MotoAmerica team as well as and the Yoshimura team for the Suzuka 8-Hour.
The team has also retained the services of reigning Superstock champion, Taylor Mackenzie, who returns to Suzuki after racing a GSX-R600 in the British Supersport Championship in 2013 and 2014.
“I’m really excited for 2017. I’ve had a really successful year with Hawk Racing in 2016, and I couldn’t have imagined riding for anyone else next year. I’m also really glad to be returning to Suzuki. They’ve made a massive step forward with in every area with the new bike, and I think it’ll be great from the word go. And with Hawk behind me again I have every faith that we’ll be in for a great year in 2017.”
Suzuki GB marketing manager – Rob Cooper
“We’re really excited about going racing next year with the all-new GSX-R1000, especially with Hawk Racing, as the most experienced and longest standing team in the paddock. 2017 is a big season for us with the new bike. Having a two-rider superbike team capable of running at the very front next year is important, but it’s also equally important for us to demonstrate the bike’s ability and competitiveness in the Superstock series.
“We’re really pleased to be able to welcome Taylor Mackenzie back to the Suzuki family, and with the potential that new bike possesses – with its MotoGP technology and impressive specification – we’re confident that we’re with the best team to maximise the performance and turn it into results.”
Hawk Racing team principal – Stuart Hicken
“For Hawk to be working with a manufacturer that has a history of racing is very important. What Suzuki has done in MotoGP in such a short space of time is impressive, and there is so much technology that has come from the GP bike to the new GSX-R1000. We have met with the project leader and I think they’ve done an unbelievable job with the new bike, and we’re confident of putting it at the front.”