This is the second in a series of five interviews with British Superbike’s top riders giving motorcyclenews.com their thoughts on their new teams.
Never before has there been so much movement on the British Superbike rider market during the off-season as we’ve since this winter.
Even the top five seats in British Superbikes have new riders sitting on them next year.
They’ve all been acquainted with their new teams so what better time to get their thoughts on their moves?
In part two, Cal Crutchlow gives us his views.
2007: Rizla Suzuki
2008: HM Plant Honda
First impressions of your new team?
“Brilliant. It doesn’t get any better than HM Plant Honda does it?
“You only have to look at the team’s record, back to the WSB days and then last year’s 1-2 in BSB. Awesome.
“I was up at the workshop two weeks ago to meet the boys. They’ve got a really good crew – a lot of experienced good people and I’ve got Adrian Gorst as my crew chief and a championship-winning team.
“Adrian joked ‘we’ve got a lot of trophies here but we want some more.’ No pressure then! But like Neil Tuxworth (team manager) and Adrian said, there is no pressure on me from them, the only pressure is what I put on myself.
Most exciting thing about your new team?
“Getting a factory Honda to race. There were lots of things that attracted me to the team but the bottom line is that it doesn’t get any more factory than Honda.
“I’m delighted to be back with them after winning the British Supersport title on a CBR600RR in 2006.
What will you miss most your old team?
“I’ll miss working with PJ (Pete Jennings his Rizla Suzuki crew chief who he also worked with in 2006) and the rest of the lads but it’s not about missing the past. The important thins is the future and riding for the HM Plant Honda team. That’s what I’m focussed on.”
How will BSB shape up without Ryuichi Kiyonari?
“He was a fantastic rider. On a bad day he might finish fourth. That’s credit to him and the team. But Kiyo and Johnny Rea not being there doesn’t devalue a thing.
“BSB is going to be just as strong and as competitive as it’s been these last few years. There’s me and Leon on factory Hondas, Shakey and Camier on factory Ducatis.
“Tom (Sykes) and that Japanese guy on factory Suzukis, plus there’s some guys from supersport coming through just like myself, Leon and Tom did last year.
“I reckon the top ten will separated by lass than half a second at the majority of tracks next year. It’s going to be fierce.”
Check back tomorrow as motorcyclenews.com speaks to Leon Haslam
British Superbikes Christmas special part one: Shane Byrne