Ryuichi Kiyonari and Tommy Bridewell sign on with Bennetts Suzuki
Bennetts Suzuki has announced that triple British Superbike Champion Ryuichi Kiyonari and BSB race-winner Tommy Bridewell will spearhead the team’s assault on the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship in 2016.
Announced at Motorcycle Live at the NEC in Birmingham today, the signings of both Kiyonari and Bridewell signal the team’s intent for 2016, with both riders proven contenders in the competitive series.
Kiyonari boasts significant BSB experience, with three championship titles to his name, while Bridewell has established himself as a regular challenger for race wins, after taking his first win in 2014 at Cadwell Park. Both will be aiming to add more wins to their respective tallies in 2016.
Kiyonari said: “I have been racing in the BSB longer than any other series in my career, so I am happy to be able to continue in the championship next year. I have raced the Suzuki GSX-R1000 for the first time this year at the Suzuka 8-Hour and it’s a great bike. I am happy that I am able to join Bennetts Suzuki for next year; the Halsall Racing team is a great team, and with the factory support I am confident that I will be racing for my fourth BSB title.”
Bridewell said: “I’m looking forward to riding for Bennetts Suzuki next season, and looking forward to enjoying my racing again. I’d had a few conversations with Martin [Halsall] towards the end of last season, and it became clear he wanted me onboard and I wanted to ride for the team. The team is capable of winning races and winning championships, and has a good structure in place; and that was important for me. I’m happy to be getting back on a Suzuki again. I started my career on a Suzuki and have ridden a few GSX-Rs in the past, and my brother rode a Suzuki as well, so we’re a bit of a Suzuki family. I’m excited about riding for them next season.”
Team Owner Martin Halsall added: “In Kiyo and Tommy we’ve got two riders who have proven they have what it takes to run right at the very front in BSB, and as a team we’re looking forward to getting started. It was our first year with the GSX-R1000 last year but now we’ve spent some time learning the bike and gathering data and information; in 2016 we’re aiming high. Our target is to get both riders into the Showdown and hopefully be in a position to challenge for the title come the final round. We’ll work hard to get the bikes prepared over winter, ready for testing.”
Christian Iddon joins Tyco BMW alongside returning Michael Laverty for 2016
Tyco BMW has announced their 2016 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship line-up with Christian Iddon moving to the Northern Ireland based team alongside the returning Michael Laverty.
Ulsterman Laverty has had a strong relationship with the team during his career and is looking to build on his first season onboard the Tyco BMW S1000RR, which he ended this season’s title battle in fourth place in the overall standings. Laverty ended his 2015 campaign in fine style, claiming his first win on the BMW at the season finale at Brands Hatch, adding to his three previous podium finishes.
Former World Supermoto star Iddon moves to Tyco BMW after ending his 2015 season in tenth place in the overall standings. The Stockport racer was hit with an injury and bad luck during the season but scored a best result of fourth place in the final two rounds of the season.
The team recently announced they will also fight for the 2016 Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship title with 11-time Isle of Man TT winner Ian Hutchinson, who will ride a S1000RR.
Laverty said: “We had a strong end to last season and I have really gelled with the BMW so I am happy to stay with the team and have some continuity because over recent years I have never stayed for two seasons with the same team and regretted it. It’s exciting to build on last season and we have a good development plan over the winter; we went out at the end of last season with a winning motorcycle and that signals our intentions for 2016.
“I also wanted to stay with BMW as there are lots of movers and shakers in the Championship next year and those teams and riders will have to do the groundwork – that is what we did last season. I am looking forward to being able to fine tune now after our development year. There is still a lot more potential to come from the Tyco BMW; we have a really fast engine and we can still do more work to polish off the power delivery, improve the chassis settings and that creates more harmony.
“We can only improve with small percentages and marginal gains but they all make a big difference. I definitely want to be in a position to stand on the podium from round one; we want to come straight out of the box and start where we finished last year. I hope to be stronger earlier on in the season next year and then we can have a game plan for the Showdown. I really think we have the tools to fight for the Championship.”
Iddon said: “I am looking forward to good year in 2016; it’s exciting as they are a top flight team who has been around for a long time. I met with the team and everyone was spot on and to be linked with BMW in their official team is also a big plus for me.
“We had a lot of misfortune last year, but I hope we can start the year with some solid performances and build on it from there. I am feeling confident and I want to run at the front and with the right package there is no reason why I can’t. Consistency is important for results, especially with the Showdown, we saw that this year. I don’t know what to expect yet but I can’t wait to have my first test on the BMW.”
Hutchinson said: “We secured the deal just over a month ago and now that my 2015 season is over, I’m really looking forward to getting going with Tyco BMW. After pretty much four years away from the sport I now need a bit of consistency. BMW is a huge brand and along with Philip Neill at TAS, they have shown how much they want to be involved with me for next season. That enthusiasm sold it to me and with direct support from BMW Motorrad it was hard to turn down.”
Team Manager Philip Neill commented: “After a very satisfying first season together with BMW Motorrad everyone at TAS Racing is looking forward to a second season with the BMW S1000RR. In turn, to have our long-term title partner Tyco Security Products remain with us for another year is very pleasing indeed. It was always our intention to continue with Michael for a second year: his experience and end of season form have left us feeling optimistic for 2016.
“I am extremely happy to welcome Christian to our team for 2016. I have always admired him as a rider to be honest. I truly believe that with our experience as a team, the quality of the BMW S1000RR package and Christian’s unique talent as a rider, we have all the ingredients to be successful.
“Obviously we are really excited to have Ian Hutchinson onboard as a member of Tyco BMW for next year, and together with the International Road Racing events, Ian will support our BSB campaign in the National 1000cc Superstock Championship.
“Finally, a big thanks goes to BMW Motorrad, Tyco Security Products and to each of our associate sponsors for your continued faith in TAS Racing.”
Honda Racing return with familiar three rider line-up for 2016 MCE BSB
Honda Racing will feature an unchanged line up for the 2016 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship season as the Louth-based team return with Dan Linfoot, Jason O’Halloran and Jenny Tinmouth for the second consecutive campaign aboard the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade.
Linfoot qualified for the Showdown in his debut season with the title-winning team, ending the championship in fifth place. The 27-year-old had a dream start to his season with a podium finish at Donington Park, before a crash during practice at Brands Hatch left him with a broken wrist and subsequently missed two rounds. On his return Linfoot celebrated a further three podium finishes before the end of the season.
27-year-old O’Halloran continues his recovery ahead of his sixth season with Honda and his second in the Superbike category, having previously competed for the manufacturer in the British Supersport and National Superstock 1000 Championships. O’Halloran had been holding a position inside the top six in the standings including a double podium finish at Snetterton before his crash at Thruxton left him sidelined with a broken femur and left hand.
Tinmouth has been working her way through the ranks of the support classes before becoming the first female rider to join the MCE BSB grid and score a championship point. Last season the Ellesmere Port-based contender continued to improve her pace throughout the championship events and is keen to build on those foundations into the second consecutive season with the title-winning team.
Linfoot said: “I am really excited to be staying with Honda Racing next season and the continuity into 2016 is what I needed and I think we can really build on 2015. We should have some improvements for next year and we can hit the ground running in pre-season testing so we can keep pushing on forward.
“Over the past two seasons we have finished fifth overall in the standings, and last year that included missing some races through injury, so we really want to be fighting for more next year. I think we should be fighting for the top three in the standings, that is my goal and my obvious focus is to be scoring podiums immediately at the start of the season and keep consistent to get into the Showdown. I want to be in a position to step up next year and I think myself and the Honda Racing team will be able to work together to achieve that.”
O’Halloran said: “I’m really pleased to be staying with Honda, in what will be my sixth year with them. To have their support after my injury and missing the second half of the season has kept me going and makes me just want to come back stronger than ever. When I got injured I was lying fifth in the championship, finding my feet and felt like I could have secured a place in the Showdown, so it was a huge blow to myself and the team that I was forced to pull out. It’s been a tough few months recovering from the injuries, but these things either make or break you and I am probably stronger now than I have ever been, and can’t wait to get back on my Fireblade for testing in the New Year.
“I think going into 2016 we’re in a better position than we were this year, we learnt a lot during the first few rounds and I think we can have a strong championship and the Showdown is obviously the aim and once you are there anything is possible. We have seen that before in previous years. We have a great package with the bike and the team so I see no reason why we can’t be challenging for podiums from the start and we have as much of a shot as everyone else.”
Tinmouth said: “I’m over the moon to be part of the Honda Racing team for a second year; it was a dream come true when I was asked to join last year and to be back for next year is just mega! This year I got to know the Fireblade, the team and we collected a lot of good data, so we can go into the next season with most of the hard work done and just get cracking. It’s really good to also have Dan and Jason in the team again; they have been great to have in the garage and always offering help and support. I can’t wait now until our testing starts in March; I’m counting down the days!”
Team Manager Havier Beltran said: It’s a great opportunity for Honda and the riders to be working together for a second year in Superbike, to be able to further develop the Fireblade and also each of the riders. It was a bit of a mixed year for us in 2015 with both Dan and Jason sustaining injuries, which for sure hampered our results. But on a positive note the results they both received showed what they are capable of and if Jason hadn’t been injured then I believe we would have had two riders in the Showdown this year. I can see the determination and focus in all riders with their training regimes, which they have all started in readiness for next year. We’re looking forward to our opening test in March to see what progress they have all made over the winter with their training and just can’t wait to get started now.”
Nick Campolucci, Head of Motorcycles, Honda (UK) commented: “We’re pleased to have re-signed all three riders for the 2016 season and feel it’s important that we have done this to show our commitment and faith in all three. It hasn’t been an easy return for us coming back into the championship after a year out with Dan getting injured early on, but his return and strength after missing some rounds to secure a place in the Showdown and finish fifth overall showed everyone what he’s capable of with the CBR.
“Also for Jason it was a huge blow for him and the team after such a promising start, and having to miss the rest of the season due to his injuries from Thruxton. We know what Jason is capable of and can’t wait to see him back on the Fireblade next year, stronger and more determined than before. Jenny had a season building on the CBR and did impress with her determination, it’s not been an easy year for her, but we know that she is fast and with a few little tweaks and work over the winter, we have faith that she can come back and fight for top-20 finishes. We’re very positive about the 2016 season and can’t wait to get going to see what the year brings.”
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