2016 BSB runner-up and current leader of the 2017 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship Leon Haslam has signed a deal with Kawasaki UK and Bournemouth Kawasaki Racing for a second consecutive season while Cambridgeshire’s Luke Mossey has also agreed a deal to remain in the squad for the fourth year running.
Team Owner Pete Extance said: “We have experienced mixed fortunes this year with Leon securing his place in the Showdown and looking for his and the team’s first BSB title and Luke narrowly missing out on a place due to a back injury.
“We were very keen to try and retain Leon as part of the team and in 2018 we will either be chasing our first title or trying to defend it, both of which we feel he is more than capable of. Leon is a class rider and well liked by the team, sponsors and Kawasaki UK so retaining him was very important.
“Luke has suffered a lot of bad luck this season. However, I feel he is without doubt one of the young title challengers and will improve with time and maturity. He has proved his worth in 2017 and is certainly one to watch again in 2018 when he will be back stronger and faster.”
Ross Burridge, Senior Racing and Marketing Co-ordinator at Kawasaki UK, added: “Despite some big crashes, injuries and a lot of drama, 2017 has been a great year for Team Green in the superbike class.
“I am personally delighted that Leon and Luke have both re-signed to compete on the Ninja ZX-10RR for 2018, when we will be collectively gunning from the outset to ensure both riders are in the Showdown and ultimately that we take the title.
“We still have a lot to do to make sure we are on top come Brands Hatch this year but I am very excited about what the new season will bring.”
As well as making the announcement about the riders, Pete also confirmed that JG Speedfit will be the team’s title sponsor for the second consecutive year.
“The support from JG Speedfit has been superb,” he explained. “We have met some fantastic guests in the hospitality this year and thank JG Speedfit for their continued support in 2018. We hope to be able to share a BSB championship title with them this season!”
Mike Riseley, UK Director of Sales at JG Speedfit, added: “Thus far we have enjoyed an excellent relationship with the entire team and we are delighted to extend the title sponsorship into 2018. It’s really positive to make the announcement now, before the final two rounds, as it will help to maintain continuity and instill confidence at what is a very important stage in the season.
“We’re going in to the final two rounds in a strong position – 22 points clear at the top of the table – and with a bit of luck and injury-free riders, Leon can win the championship and Luke can finish in seventh.
“Moving into 2018 we hope the relationship we currently have with Bournemouth Kawasaki Racing will continue to go from strength to strength, the BSB championship is such a strong series and is clearly gaining in popularity each year. Being involved as a team title sponsor remains a valuable component of our marketing strategy.”
Haslam, fresh from a much-needed win at Oulton Park, is currently at the top of the championship table and is hoping to extend his lead at the next round at TT Circuit Assen (29th September to 1st October).
“I’m really excited to continue my relationship with both Bournemouth Kawasaki Racing and JG Speedfit next year,” he said. “It’s been a good season so far and for it to progress with the team and the structure we have in place along with everything else that I’m doing with Kawasaki UK is fantastic.
“We know that it’s a winning package and I think if we refine all the little problem areas and continue to advance with the team, we will be in an even better position going into 2018.”
Twenty-four-year-old Luke Mossey, who narrowly missed out on making the Showdown this year after a heavy crash at Thruxton left him with a broken back in four places, will be aiming to be a title contender in 2018.
Mossey said: “I’ve been in discussions with Pete for a couple of months now about next season and when he asked me to stay on, to be honest it wasn’t a difficult decision. This is my fourth year with Bournemouth Kawasaki Racing and Pete’s always treated me really well so I’m over the moon to be included in the line-up again for next year.
“Our aim this season was to win the title and I’m confident we’d still be in with a shout if I hadn’t broken my back in four places. The goal remains the same for next year and I think once I’m fully fit we’ve got a good chance. The Kawasaki is an all-round good bike – we haven’t had any major problems with it and I know how to ride it.
“Admittedly it’s the only bike I’ve ever ridden since I made the transition to superbikes in 2015 but I think it really suits my riding style. Like I said my injury has been a bit of a thorn in my side this season but it’s just one of those things and you have to put it behind you and move on. I’m really looking forward to what 2018 will bring.”