Team Suzuki Press Office – July 29.
Luke Stapleford will deputise for the injured Tim Neave this weekend riding the Buildbase Suzuki GSX-R1000R Superstock machine at the Thruxton British Superbike Championship in the UK.
The former British Supersport Champion boasts plenty of GSX-R experience, having campaigned one in Superbike trim in 2019. He’s also tested and raced a Superstock-spec GSX-R this year, including at the official test at Silverstone in April.
Stapleford will stand-in for Neave this coming weekend (July 30 –August 1) at Round 4 with Neave aiming to return to action at Donington Park in three weeks’ time.
Neave suffered a tear of his Acromioclavicular (AC) joint ligament following a crash at Brands Hatch last weekend. He was on the receiving end of a collision with a rival on the final lap of the first National Superstock race. He hit the ground hard, and while initial x-rays showed no broken bones, subsequent scans have revealed a tear to the ACJ ligament. Despite a recommended recovery period of six weeks, a check-up scan in three weeks will determine if he his fit for round four at Donington Park.
“It’s obviously not nice for Tim to be in the situation he’s in and I hope he recovers quickly. For me coming in, I’m looking forward to it and I think Thruxton offers the most level playing field possible as no one’s ridden there since 2019 – which is when I last rode there on the Superbike – and no one’s done masses of testing. It’s also hard on tyres and I tend to be quite kind on tyre life.
“I’m probably not as physically fit as I have been, but I’m definitely bike fit: I’ve been doing a lot of motocross and I’ve ridden the GSX-R stocker this year at the Silverstone test and at Mallory, and I did an EMRA meeting on it too. I also had one as a practice bike in 2019 so I’m comfortable with the bike and know there won’t be any surprises this weekend. But we haven’t done any messing around with settings and setup, so I’m looking forward to a proper race weekend again and getting stuck in. I’m not setting any specific targets as it would be easy to set myself up for a fall, but that said, I’m not turning up to have a weekend away; I’d like to be somewhere near and in the mix.”
The fourth round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Thruxton gets underway with free practice on Friday July 30th. The National Superstock Championship will have two races over the weekend, with race one taking place at 14:55 (local time) on Saturday and race two at 12:35 on Sunday.