Leon Haslam will be back for an attack on the 2017 MCE British Superbike Championship title as he returns with Team Green after signing for Kawasaki UK to line up at Bournemouth Kawasaki alongside Luke Mossey as he bids to go one better after narrowly missing out on this year’s crown.
Haslam returned to Britain this year from the world stage and with JG Speedfit Kawasaki celebrated nine race wins and a further six podium finishes as he took the title fight with Shane Byrne down to the wire at the final round.
Mossey will return for a third consecutive season with the team as the 24-year old from Cambridge bids to build on his performance this year after securing a closely-fought Showdown place for the first time, scoring four podium finishes and a best result of second place at Oulton Park.
Mossey made his MCE BSB debut in 2015, progressing from the Dickies British Supersport class and became a podium finisher in his rookie campaign, ending with him celebrating the Riders Cup title.
The team will make their first public appearance when they officially unveil their new livery and title partner at Motorcycle Live at the NEC Birmingham on Saturday 19 November at the Kawasaki stand.
Haslam said: “This year was obviously a good one for me; it was my first season with Kawasaki and also the first back in BSB with the no electronics rule. It was a tough year revisiting some of the tracks I hadn’t been to for eight years but we came out fighting at every round.
“I had some interesting options in the World Championship but I know with this package we are going to be battling for wins and a championship title. I believe in Kawasaki and I think this second year working together will certainly put us in a stronger position than when we started out this season.
“The aim for me is always to win and of course Shakey will be the target, but we both go into the new season with a year with our respective manufacturers so I feel we are in a similar position. There are lots of interesting rumours about who will be joining us on the grid next year, which is great as I love a challenge. We go into the 2017 season ahead of where we started this year and we will be ready to roll when it comes to Donington Park for the first round.”
Mossey said: “I am over the moon to be staying with the team for a third season, we have built up a really good relationship and that is so important. It means we can really hit the ground running when we start testing and we already have a good idea of where we need to start.
“We start in a really good position and without a shadow of a doubt I want to step up again next year and now we have been in the Showdown, we need to improve on that. I feel that I have got the pace to fight for more podiums next season; we just need to work on consistency.
“We didn’t quite get that first race win in Superbikes this year which was annoying, so that is my first target and then we want to be pushing to be better than this season – I can’t wait to get started.”
Pete Extance, Team Owner said: “We have had an amazing time in the BSB paddock so far but it’s now reached a pinnacle point in my team’s BSB journey. Now it has got very serious with the introduction of Leon and retaining Luke in the official Kawasaki UK team and realising we have a real chance of challenging for the title along with race wins and podiums every weekend.
“It’s not going to be easy but I am excited and ready to give it my best shot of steering Bournemouth Kawasaki to the top in 2017.”
Ross Burridge, Senior Racing and Marketing Co-ordinator, Kawasaki UK, commented: “We are thrilled to be able retain the services of Leon for 2017. Despite having to adapt to a new team, a new bike and re-learn the circuits, he rode amazingly well this season, and I am confident that he can go one step better next year.
“Pete and his Bournemouth Kawasaki team are more than capable of giving Leon what he needs to push for race wins, and I personally think that Leon and Luke are an exciting team line-up, both for Kawasaki and the series. Roll on round one!”
For more information visit www.britishsuperbike.com