The JG Speedfit Kawasaki team are hungry for a repeat of their 2017 performance this weekend as they return to Brands Hatch for round 2 of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship.
Currently in fourth and fifth place in the championship after the first round at Donington Park over Easter, teammates Leon Haslam and Luke Mossey are raring to go at the Brands Hatch circuit this weekend.
Derbyshire-born Leon is aiming to secure another podium after finishing second in the second race at Donington. He’ll also be looking to improve on his previous performance at Brands Hatch where he finished in second and third place last year.
Meanwhile Luke, from Royston in Cambridgeshire, is particularly looking forward to getting back to the famous Kent venue after he clinched not only his first ever win, but his first ever double race victory last season.
The weekend at Brands Hatch also marks the start of the Hyundai Construction Equipment British Sidecar Championship in association with Molson. Eager to kick their season off with a strong performance in the first round will be the Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki team.
Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood had a challenging end to their 2017 campaign when they were forced to relinquish second place following a major crash in the penultimate round at Assen, where Ryan came away with multiple fractures in his foot.
The pair are returning to the championship with a spring in their step after they decided to switch to a new machine for this season. Having struggled with a more powerful engine in 2017 they have made the switch to a 600CC, which is working well with their weight and Ricky’s driving style.
Leon said: “I’m feeling good about Brands Hatch Indy. It wasn’t one of my better rounds in 2017, so I’m looking forward to improving on what we learned last year.
“Donington Park was a little bit cold and we had a few issues in both the races, but it kicked the season off.
“The team is working together really well, and JG Speedfit Kawasaki is on point right now, so we’re hopeful we can rectify a few of those issues so we can get back to winning ways.”
Luke said: “I’m feeling good ahead of the weekend, although we’re hoping the weather improves and brightens up, giving us a dry track.
“Looking back on Donington we can take lots of positives. I’m really glad I came out of it in one piece, as there were lots of crashes in other classes.
“To leave there fifth in the championship means there’s something to build on. The championship can’t be won in the first race, but it can be lost and fifth still means we’re in the fight. None of the main contenders showed their true colours, so that makes us more confident.
“The bike is feeling really good, it’s ready to go, so there’s nothing for us to think about in that department.
“I love racing at Brands Hatch; it’s only an hour away so it’s a home track along with Snetterton. We’ve had a lot of success there in the past, including the double win last season.
“Going to a track where we have a great history makes you feel confident. We’d love to repeat 2017’s wins, but I want to leave there with a trophy – anything else and I’ll be disappointed.”
Ryan said: “We are both really looking forward to our season opener at Brands Hatch. It’s the start of a new exciting chapter for us as a team with moving to a 600cc configuration which is in line with the FIM world championship.
“Testing was very strong and we hope that the relatively short lap at Brands Hatch Indy will be an advantage to us as we head into this weekend.
“We have got to the start of the season again with thanks to our loyal and amazing sponsors Quattro Plant, Somrow Construction, Cool Milk, JG Speedfit with Bournemouth Kawasaki and we would like to introduce a new sponsor to us for this forthcoming year, HV3.”
Team Manager Jack Valentine added: “With round 2 rapidly approaching the team have been working hard in preparation to gain some ground on the early championship leaders and get back to the front of the title hunt.
“Both Leon and Luke like the Brands Hatch Indy circuit and with the weather improving towards the end of the week it should be a great round for the JG Speedfit team.”