The Burns brothers on Aprilias in BSB Evo

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Chris Burns (31) and his teenage bother Joe (17) line up on identical Aprilia RSV4 Factory bikes run by Splitlath Racing in BSB Evo this year.

For Chris it’s a chance to rebuild his career after a succession of disappointing seasons and for Joe it’s an opportunity to prove himself in the blue riband class of British racing.

They spoke to MCN about the up-coming season.

Chris this must be the first time since WCM you’ve got a proper team berth, good bikes and pre-season testing all thrown in?

Chris: Yeah, I’ve been starting three or four rounds in recently. The last time I really had everything sorted from the start was 2002 when I rode for Roundstone Suzuki.

We did pre-season testing and finished third in the Superstock series. Riding for this team is a life-line for me.

Isn’t there’s going to be a lot of pressure with the two of you in the same team?

Chris: I’ve huge target on my back don’t I?  If I win, I’m supposed to. If I lose I’m a dick!

Joe: It’s bit different having my brother as a team-mate but it makes no difference as long as I beat him!

Chris: Seriously, it’s the first time I’ve had a real team-mate since I rode for WSM. That’s got to be healthy.

So is there a history of sibling rivalry here?

Chris: There’s a big age gap but yeah, there’s always rivalry.

Joe: Yeah,we’ve had a few battles at track days in 2007. There were bits of debris everywhere.  There’s a bit of rivalry, but generally we get on.

So how did this deal come about for you guys?

Chris: Joe was riding for Splitlath and when I went to Silverstone, John (Dimbylow – team owner) asked if I’d like to try his Aprilia RSV4 at Oulton – purely to offer my thoughts on the bike.

I thought it felt okay but, to be honest, it wasn’t a fair test, because it was pissing with rain and I spent all the time trying not to crash.

John came up with  a plan to run Aprilias in Superstock and contacted me in the winter to offer me a ride alongside Joe.

Joe: I met John at a track day in 2007 and we just got chatting and I ended up riding for his team.

I rode John’s Aprilia at the end of the year at Mallory and like it – it felt more like my old R6.

We talked things over and decided it would be worth racing one of them in Superstock this year.

But you’ve both ended up in BSB Evo. How do you feel about that?

Joe: I heard we were going to be in Evo about a month ago and, to be honest, it doesn’t bother me.

I was going to be racing a 1000 anyway. Being in BSB Evo just means I get more track time. It’s going to be good for me, trying to get up to Chris’ pace.   

Chris: I think it’s going to be good now that there’s a healthy line-up. I think John’s doing the job right and BSB Evo is the place to be.

I’ve read that the Aprilia is lacking top speed but the bike gets off corners well and is fully adjustable so we should have a really good package.  I’m looking forward to it.

Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin