JG Speedfit Kawasaki are aiming to get their season back on track at Thruxton this weekend (4th to 6th August) with Leon Haslam and Luke Mossey intent on securing some more podium finishes.
With Luke and Leon currently second and third in the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings, behind Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne, they will be hoping they can pull rank on the Be Wiser Ducati team.
Leon, has just returned from his heroic performance in the Suzuka 8Hours, where he completed five of the race’s eight hours on his own, leading Team Green Kawasaki to a terrific second place.
The Derbyshire rider will now be turning his attentions to round seven for what promises to be one of the fastest rounds of the season.
Issues with tyre life dogged Leon at Thruxton in 2016 and have continued to prove troublesome for the team. However, they will be working hard during testing at Cadwell this week in the hope of putting those problems behind them.
“We had an interesting race at Thruxton last year and unfortunately struggled most of the weekend. Historically it’s not been one of the best circuits for Kawasaki but we did actually lead the race for the majority of it until we came up against a few issues with tyre life.
“I’m looking to having a much better result there this weekend. I know it’s going to be tough against the Ducatis but if we can come away with two solid results that would position us nicely going into the Showdown.
“Thruxton has always been one of those circuits that’s good fun to race on and it’s always really closely contested so I’m looking forward to the battle!”
Similarly, teammate Luke Mossey wants to overcome the difficulties he suffered with brake failure at Brands Hatch two weeks ago when the Cambridgeshire rider finish 12th in race one. Thankfully his JG Speedfit Kawasaki team managed to fix the fault for race two resulting in a more respectable 6th place.
Luke has always been a fan of the exceptionally fast Thruxton Circuit and is looking forward to building on the success he enjoyed there in 2016 when he finished third and fourth securing him a spot in the Showdown.
“Last season at Thruxton I picked up a podium finish and did so in 2015, so it’s a track which has always been good to me, even going back to my Supersport days,” explained Luke. “I feel good in myself and have no doubt that with the bike performing well we can be back up there again.
“I’m still second in the championship and feel confident I can break Shakey. He’s been riding well and full of confidence. They’ve got the Ducati right, but I want to go out and challenge.”
In the Hyundai Heavy Industries British Sidecar Championship, double British F1 Sidecar champions Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood will be heading to Thruxton with one goal in mind: to finish on the top step of the podium.
Sidecar driver Ricky Stevens and his passenger Ryan Charlwood have had a troublesome season so far but things seemingly took a turn for the better at the end of the previous round at Brands Hatch.
Ricky said: “Thruxton is my favourite track; it suits us, our driving style and the outfit.
“After Brands, I’m confident that we have resolved our engine issues but we are getting extra technical support from Bournemouth Kawasaki this weekend, to give us the best possible chance.
“We have some tough competition to fight off in the shape of the Reeves brothers, the Birchall brothers and Steve Kershaw. I’ll need to keep my head down and stay cool if we want any chance of repeating last year’s double win.”
Meanwhile all-female sidecar team Maria Costello and Kirsty Hauxwell will be keeping their fingers crossed for better luck at Thruxton. In the last round at Brands Hatch, the pairing failed to qualify after they were hit by another sidecar.
Thruxton is a three-race event for the Hyundai Heavy Industries British F1 Sidecar Championship, with two races on the Saturday and one race on the Sunday.
Maria said: “I have just had an awesome weekend on two and four wheels at the Silverstone Classic riding with true legends of my sport and driving with celebrities in the Austin A35 car race.
“Now I am aiming to take some of what I learnt at Silverstone to Thruxton for round seven of the championship. I’m looking forward to being reunited with my passenger Kirsty and our outfit for some fast sidecar action!”