BSB: GBmoto confirm British Superbike departure
JG Speedfit Kawasaki boss Mark Smith-Halvorsen has confirmed that his GBmoto Racing team will not be racing in 2017.
As reported by MCN last month, Smith-Halvorsen has decided to draw a line under his racing activities after the team’s most successful year to date, taking Kawasaki to the 2016 manufacturers’ crown despite Leon Haslam narrowly missing out on the riders’ title.
The decision leaves the team’s trio of riders out of a job for 2017, but MCN understands both Haslam and Ellison have rides secured for 2017 while Peter Hickman, who won two races this season, remains on the lookout for a seat.
While Haslam is expected to remain with Kawasaki next year, it is not yet clear with which team he will race.
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Confirming the team’s departure, Smith Halvorsen said: “Today is the first chance to reflect on our season’s racing and to take in what we have achieved together this year. I want to thank everybody in the team for such a wonderful job, we have an awful lot to be proud of after winning the manufacturers’ championship, setting the fourth fastest all time lap of the Isle of Man TT, becoming the first team to have three riders win races in one BSB season, becoming the first team to have three riders on the BSB podium, taken 27 podiums, won 50% of all 2016 BSB races, taken the Riders’ Cup with Peter Hickman, taken James Ellison to third in the series and Leon Haslam to second.
“It is with a heavy heart, but for some fundamental reasons, that I draw a line under not only this season, but cease the racing activities of GBmoto too. Fear not, for I am confident that all of our people will all go on to shine in all number of other places and different ways; because others want and need their talent, drive and determination.
"I want to thank all of our sponsors, suppliers and fans for what they have done to encourage and support us along the way. It has truly been a wonderful journey. We may not have won the championship - but we were the best team.”