Team Suzuki Press Office – August 7.
The Buildbase Suzuki team is ready for racing to resume this weekend, as the Bennetts British Superbike Championship returns after months of lockdown.
The condensed season – which will take place over six rounds and 18 races – kicks off at Donington Park, and despite the break, both Keith Farmer and Kyle Ryde are raring to go after a series of positive tests aboard their GSX-R1000 machinery, including a one-day test at the same venue last week.
“To be honest a lot of time has been spent building my confidence again after last year and after my injury. I’d done a lot of riding on the Superstock bike but the Donington test was a real step again, back into it properly. We made some changes as we went and found something in the last session which really helped my confidence – knowing I could ride, knowing I could give feedback and work with the team, because it’s also a new bike to me; I’m new to the team, so it was a learning day.
“The area we need to work on for me is rear grip; I don’t mind the thing sliding on the way into corners but I’m quite aggressive with the throttle from the apex and on corner exit, so I need to know and feel that I’ve got a good connection from the rear tyre to the ground. But we made a big step, got closer, and hopefully we can have three strong finishes this weekend and keep building.”
“I’m fairly happy and I’m feeling good in myself ahead of the weekend. I think I’ve done more riding than anyone else on the grid, and I’m not saying that’ll mean I’ll go out and win it but it’s kept me bike fit, kept me sharp. I did a lot of laps on the ‘Stocker’ in earlier tests and last week’s test on the Superbike was good. The main focus was on getting the power right because the bike’s so fast everywhere, so we backed it off to make it a bit more manageable and so I can get comfortable and more confident on it. But we did some good runs and set a good lap time in the final session last week. I’m looking forward to riding and enjoying racing again this weekend.“
The Buildbase Suzuki team will also field Leon Jeacock and Tim Neave in the National Superstock 1000 class, the series it won with Richard Cooper and the GSX-R1000 in 2019. Jeacock boasts plenty of GSX-R experience in the class, while Neave is tipped as one of the brightest young talents in the paddock.
Said Team Manager Steve Hicken ahead of the season-opener: “It’s been a pretty lengthy break but it’s been the same for everyone. But while we haven’t been racing we’ve still been working hard preparing and developing the bikes in the workshop, and we’ve managed to get out and test fairly regularly as lockdown eased, so we’re in a good place and looking forward to racing again.
“Kyle is learning the Superbike all the time, as he steps up from the GP2 machine, while Keith’s building confidence after his injury in 2019. We’re also excited to see what Tim and Leon can do in the Superstock class. Leon’s raced GSX-Rs before and worked with us for a while and has been getting faster and faster all the time, while Tim is an exciting prospect who has definitely got the raw speed, and hopefully we can help him realise his potential this year.”
The opening race weekend of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship starts with qualifying and Superbike and Superstock race one on Saturday August 8th, followed by two Superbike races and the second Superstock race on Sunday