BSB: Fighting talk from JG Speedfit Kawasaki boss ahead of Brands finale
JG Speedfit Kawasaki boss Mark Smith-Halvorsen has fired a clear warning shot that the GBmoto team will come out fighting for Leon Haslam to be crowned 2016 MCE British Superbike Champion this weekend despite a 17-point deficit to series leader Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne.
While the rumour mill continues to suggest the JG Speedfit-backed GBmoto squad won’t be on the grid next year, Smith-Halvorsen has emphasised the team’s commitment to Haslam’s title challenge in the build-up to this weekend’s Brands Hatch finale.
Haslam might sit 17 points behind rival Byrne, but as shown many times with BSB’s Showdown format – nothing is certain until the final races of the year.
Speaking to MCN ahead of Brands, Smith-Halvorsen said: “There is a lot of commentary about whether the team is working together, but people don’t know the basis upon which we have been working to date. We have changed our strategy going into the last round and I am super confident that all three riders will be riding to get the team the very best results with regards to winning the championship. That will start on Friday and I think we have the kind of riders that can affect races and I am sure they will…
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“We have found something new in terms of performance as a result of some late input from Kawasaki and early tests after Assen have buoyed us with confidence. The bike is already a winner and we have never had a package as good as the one we are taking to Brands. The talk of hard and soft tyre performance is nonsense, I know our bike will now work on both and none of our team were making a big deal when we couldn’t make the soft option last in the summer.
“The fact that people talk of Brands as Shakey’s back yard suits us. We beat him there plenty last year, we have beaten him there this year and will do so again. We are ready and happy despite the points deficit, as its always much better to be the hunter rather than the hunted. When it comes to a straight dog fight, my money is on Leon and I think he will win through this weekend with the support of the whole team.”