Team Suzuki Press Office – November 5.
Suzuki’s GSX-R125 has won the 2020 UK Freetech Endurance Championship, with victory in the final round of the season; a six-hour race at Mallory Park at the weekend.
Piloted by former British Superbike and Superstock racer Alastair Fagan, former Superstock 1000 rider Bruce Wilson, and current Superstock 1000 racer Tim Neave – who won at the Silverstone Bennetts British Superbike Championship on his Buildbase Suzuki GSX-R1000 earlier this year – Team Suzuki GB clinched both the series’ Streetstock and overall championships in a thrilling finale. After six hours of racing just 38 seconds was the margin of victory.
The six-round Freetech series is an entry-level, affordable race series in the UK with various classes each allowing different amounts of modification. What started as a media project and experiment by Suzuki GB with UK motorcycle publication 44 Teeth/ Fast Bikes to prove people can go racing with a standard machine at low cost, turned from a one round test into six rounds and a championship title at the end. Although the series allows for some uprated parts, the GSX-R125 started the series in standard road trim and ended the series as one of the least-modified machines on the start grid, proving the reliability and performance of the production machine.
The Suzuki GB-supported squad went into the weekend 19 points adrift of title rivals – a Honda CBR125-mounted outfit headed up by former British championship racer Hudson Kennaugh – and drafted in Neave for the longer six-hour race, knowing only a win would do. Competing against British and world championship-level riders including Tom Booth-Amos, Chrissy Rouse, Stefan Hill and Storm Stacey, Suzuki led the early stages, before swapping between first and fourth place as pit stops came into play, but always ahead of their fellow championship challengers.
Holding second overall (though first in class) with an hour-and-a-half to go, the championship was all but assured, as a mechanical issue forced Kennaugh’s retirement. Still racing on, however, Team Suzuki GB overhauled race leaders FAB-Racing, to take the outright victory.
The result gave the GSX-R125 both the Streetstock championship win, as well as the overall championship title.
The win comes after Fagan and Wilson finished seventh overall (and fifth in the Streetstock class) at the season-opening four-hour at Teeside Autodrome aboard a completely standard machine, including headlights, indicators, registration plate and exhaust. The team returned for the second round of the series at the same venue equipped with a racier steed. Road bits removed, the bike was fitted with race bodywork, a full Yoshimura exhaust, and a larger rear sprocket, before being raced by Fagan and road racer Mike Booth to second place.
Ian Bland , Suzuki GB’s head of motorcycle marketing said: “Fresh off the back of SERT winning this year’s Endurance World Championship with the GSX-R1000, the GSX-R125 proves it shares the same race-winning heritage by winning the Freetech 125 Endurance title. There were some very talented riders in the field at Mallory Park, including British and world championship racers and a number of British Talent Cup riders, but the little GSX-R proved its combination of performance and reliability was an unbeatable package. Thank you to Alastair, Bruce, Mike, and Tim for making this championship possible.”