BSB: Neave gets second shot with Halsall Suzuki

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Tom Neave will return to the Bennetts British Superbike grid at Silverstone as a stand-in for the injured Chrissy Rouse at Halsall Suzuki.

The Lincolnshire young gun had been racing in the Superstock 1000 championship this year, but got a surprise chance to step up to Bennetts BSB for Thruxton and Cadwell Park as a replacement for Dan Linfoot in the Honda Racing squad.

After a 12th and 15th place at Cadwell, Neave was pleased with his results but itching for another chance.

He was planning to return to the Superstock class on his own Suzuki for Silverstone this weekend until a call came from team boss Colin Wright to see if he’d replace Rouse, who broke his left hand and right wrist in a crash at Cadwell Park.

“I was actually in the garage prepping my bike for Silverstone when Colin called and invited me for a meeting,” Neave said. “I’m over the moon to have been given another opportunity to race in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship.

“I’m really looking forward to working with Colin and the team, and I can’t wait to get back out. Naturally, it’s going to be another big learning curve. I’ve had two rounds riding the Honda, and now I’ve got to start again with a different bike. My own machine is a Suzuki, so that could be a bit of an advantage.

“It’s been such an amazing year, going from missing the start of the season with a bad shoulder injury to getting the chance to join the BSB grid, and then to get this second opportunity is fantastic.

“I got a 12th and a 15th at Cadwell Park two weeks ago, so I’d like to aim for similar results at Silverstone. I plan to spend Friday learning about the bike and getting settled in, and then hopefully we can push forward and move towards the points as the weekend goes on.”

Wright added: “Tom’s a great guy, we had a long meeting this week and as far as I’m concerned he ticks all of the boxes so far,” he said.

“With Chrissy recovering, we wanted to find a promising youngster to fill his seat until he is fit enough to come back, and after seeing Tom in action at Cadwell, I felt he was the ideal candidate.

“He’s already demonstrated that he can run in the points and if he can do a similar job with us, then that would be brilliant. He’s under no pressure, but he’s very fired up and determined to prove he has a future in superbike racing, so I’m looking forward to working with him this weekend.”

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing