Suzuki will mount a serious assault on the 2017 MCE British Superbike title with the all-new GSX-R1000 after penning a deal for Hawk Racing to become the official factory supported team.
As reported in MCN last month, the Mallory Park-based team will switch from BMW to run the all-new Suzuki effort next year and have already taken delivery of and begun work on a 2017 model GSX-R.
While the team are still to confirm their rider line-up, MCN understands they are locked in talks with several big-named riders. 2014 World Superbike Champion Sylvain Guintoli is favourite to lead their title challenge, but at this stage nothing is signed. They are also believed to be in talks with Davide Giugliano while BSB regulars Tommy Bridewell and Richard Cooper are also in the frame.
Winners of three Superstock 1000 championships and multiple British Superbike and Isle of Man TT races, Hawk are no strangers to success and valiantly fought for the 2014 BSB title with Ryuichi Kiyonari, missing out on a last race showdown as the Japanese rider fell and broke his collarbone in free practice.
“For Hawk to be working with a racing factory is important, the tie up with the factory and Yoshimura is what we’ve been working towards and we’re looking forward to getting started properly,” said team boss Stuart Hicken.
Confirming the deal, Suzuki GB’s Marketing Manager, Rob Cooper added: “We’ve been waiting for the new GSX-R1000 for a while so we’re really pleased to have it for the 2017 season. We want to approach it to be fighting at the front with a goal of winning the championship. We wanted to work with a team that was well established and respected in the paddock. Hawk have a lot of history and success in BSB and they’ve done a very good job over the last few years.”
Taylor Mackenzie will remain with the squad after taking them to the National Superstock 1000 title this year. It’s likely the eldest son of three-time BSB champ Niall will stay in the stock class to defend his title next year, but a superbike ride hasn’t fully been ruled out for the 23-year-old.
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