Haslam looking forward to the battle as Thruxton awaits for JG Speedfit Kawasaki

by Emily Macbeth

The JG Speedfit Kawasaki duo of Luke Mossey and Leon Haslam are looking for nothing but success this weekend, as the British Superbike grid rolls into Thruxton.

Mossey and Haslam currently sit second and third in the overall standings behind Shane Byrne, who is looking stronger with each round. Both riders will be looking to cement their place in the Showdown, which begins at Oulton Park on the 15th-17th September.

Last year, Haslam was hampered with tyre life problems, something that has continued to trouble the team this year. But he remains confident heading into the seventh round of the championship, saying:

“We had an interesting race at Thruxton last year and unfortunately struggled most of the weekend. Historically it’s not been one of the best circuits for Kawasaki but we did actually lead the race for the majority of it until we came up against a few issues with tyre life.

“I’m looking to having a much better result there this weekend. I know it’s going to be tough against the Ducatis but if we can come away with two solid results that would position us nicely going into the Showdown.

“Thruxton has always been one of those circuits that’s good fun to race on and it’s always really closely contested so I’m looking forward to the battle!”

Mossey didn’t have the greatest of weekend’s at Brands Hatch two weeks ago, but is seeking to rectify that at Thruxton. He suffered with brake failure, and only managed a twelfth place in race one. The team managed to fix the issues in time for the second race, where he finished sixth. Mossey finished third and fourth at the fastest track on the calendar in 2016, and is confident that he can break Byrne’s dominance.

“It was one of those things at Brands Hatch. It was out of my hands and it was the same brake problem as we had at Snetterton. The team has worked hard and sorted the issue, so the bike is looking good again.

“Last season at Thruxton I picked up a podium finish and did so in 2015, so it’s a track which has always been good to me, even going back to my Supersport days. I feel good in myself and have no doubt that with the bike performing well we can be back up there again.

“I’m still second in the championship and feel confident I can break Shakey. He’s been riding well and full of confidence. They’ve got the Ducati right, but I want to go out and challenge.”

In the Hyundai Heavy Industries British Sidecar Championship, reigning champions Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood are heading to Thruxton for a podium, and no less. They’ll be keen to impress at their home circuit, but know they have stiff competition in the Reeves brothers and the Birchall brothers. Stevens said:

“Thruxton is my favourite track; it suits us, our driving style and the outfit.

“After Brands, I’m confident that we have resolved our engine issues but we are getting extra technical support from Bournemouth Kawasaki this weekend, to give us the best possible chance.

“We have some tough competition to fight off in the shape of the Reeves brothers, the Birchall brothers and Steve Kershaw. I’ll need to keep my head down and stay cool if we want any chance of repeating last year’s double win.”

Their team mates, all-female sidecar outfit Maria Costello MBE and Kirsty Hauxwell will be hunting for better luck this time out. At Brands, they failed to qualify after being hit by another sidecar. Costello said:

“I have just had an awesome weekend on two and four wheels at the Silverstone Classic riding with true legends of my sport and driving with celebrities in the Austin A35 car race.

“Now I am aiming to take some of what I learnt at Silverstone to Thruxton for round seven of the championship. I’m looking forward to being reunited with my passenger Kirsty and our outfit for some fast sidecar action!”


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