Chrissy Rouse and Tim Neave will line up for Morello Racing Kawasaki in 2019 as the Norwich-based team look to regain the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship they previously won in 2015 and 2017.
Rouse and Neave will campaign the new Kawasaki ZX-10RR with team owner Steve Buckenham eager to get back to the winning ways that saw Josh Elliott and Danny Buchan win the title for the team in 2015 and 2017 respectively.
Newcastle’s Rouse finished fourth overall in the 2017 Championship after taking no less than five podiums during the course of the season and he was running in fourth place again this year after further rostrum appearances at Brands Hatch and Oulton Park before switching to the Bennetts British Superbike Championship mid-way through the season.
Riding the Movuno.com Halsall Racing Suzuki, the 23-year old immediately impressed taking points-scoring finishes at Brands Hatch and Thruxton, including an excellent tenth place at the latter before injury unfortunately curtailed his season. Now back to full fitness, he’s already looking ahead to next season where he firmly intends to challenge for the Championship.
Rouse said: “I’m really excited about the 2019 season and having had some experience on a Superbike this season, I’m in a good place to have a full assault on next year’s Superstock Championship. I want to be at the front week in, week out and stay consistent throughout the season, finishing each race inside the top three with the firm aim of winning the title.”
“The team have tremendous pedigree and know what it takes to win races and win championships so with the new Kawasaki ZX-10RR, it’s a very strong package. Steve is extremely passionate about his racing and is keen to regain the title whilst his ambition, drive and will to win matches mine so I can’t wait to get started.”
23-year old Neave, meanwhile, contested both the Dickies British Supersport Championship and Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship during the course of 2018, with the Lincolnshire rider scoring consistently in both.
Riding the 600cc NRC Yamaha, Neave took an impressive 11 top ten finishes in the Supersport series where, despite only competing in eight of the 12 rounds, he finished in 14th overall. He then switched to the Superstock 1000 class in September, riding a GSXR1000 Suzuki and went on to score points in five of his six races, the highlights being eighth and ninth at Oulton Park and Silverstone respectively, results which will stand him in good stead for the year ahead.
Neave commented: “I’m delighted to be joining Morello Racing Kawasaki and can’t wait to have my first test on the new Kawasaki ZX-10RR. I felt I’d gone as far as I could in the 600cc class so switching to the 1000s for the last three rounds this year was done with 2019 in mind and to have everything confirmed already is perfect. All my racing so far has been on my own so to join a Championship winning team who have lots of experience is just what I need to progress further.”
“As soon as Steve and I spoke, we were able to agree a deal really quickly and with a great team-mate in Chrissy, I’m looking to learn from him and improve as much as I can. Being part of Team Green is a real privilege so having finished in the top eight already, that will be my immediate target and although there’s no pressure on me, I want to make the next step and push for podium positions as soon as I can.”
Team Principal Steve Buckenham added: “After winning two Championships in 2015 and 2017, it’s fair to say this season didn’t got to plan so we were determined to come out fighting and in Chrissy and Tim, we feel that we’ve got a really strong team that can fight for honours in 2019. We had quite a large number of riders contact us with regards to 2019 which was obviously a nice position to be in but we’re delighted with our final choice and with a new Kawasaki ZX-10RR next year we’re raring to go.”
“Chrissy’s class credentials speak for themselves and we firmly believe that we can give him the bike and team environment that will allow him to challenge for the title from round one, something we’re very excited about. Tim has been steadily building up his results and came highly recommended by Chris Walker so we feel he’s more than capable of top five finishes and will surprise a lot of people in 2019.”
Picture by Tim Keaton – Impact Images
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