It’s all change in the Kawasaki ranks as FS-3 Racing will become the Japanese factory’s official factory-backed squad from the start of the 2020 Bennetts British Superbike Championship season. A two-rider attack will be led by Danny Buchan.
With the JG Speedfit squad electing not to continue as the official Kawasaki team, and it looking likely that it will not remain on the BSB grid, FS-3 continues its successful rise up the order; the first time, the squad will receive full factory support from Kawasaki Motors UK, the British arm of the green company which funds the BSB project.
The move comes as its Team Green initiative is expanded across various classes of BSB, with more news to follow at the end of the 2019 campaign.
With Danny Buchan electing to remain part of the Kawasaki family and staying with the same team which has seen him rise to stardom by becoming a 2019 Showdown contender, 2020 promises to be a year full of possibilities.
"2020 will be my third season with FS-3, so the continuity will be a big thing," Buchan tells MCN. "Having the official Kawasaki Team Green backing means we will have more expectation every weekend, but for me that isn’t a bad thing because next year I want to be winning races regularly.
"I know it’s not as easy as that, but I believe as a team that we can now achieve that next step up. I really, really, strongly believe that we can fight for race wins right through the season – that’s my goal.
"I want to be a title fighter. I don’t just want to be, 'Danny Buchan: in The Showdown.' I want to be, 'Danny Buchan: fighting for titles.' That is the goal and, with the team we have and the fact I’m working with the same crew, that continuity is a big thing.
"I’m really looking forward to it. Now the main focus is to finish 2019 strongly, have some time off over the winter and come back fully charged and motivated for 2020."
The new season will make the start of a new era for Kawasaki, with the JG Speedfit squad which took Leon Haslam to the 2018 crown no longer the official green team.
"Danny and the FS-3 Racing team have been remarkable this season, having really stepped up to the plate to produce results that we are all extremely happy with," says Ross Burridge, the Senior Racing Coordinator for Kawasaki Motors UK.
"Moving into 2020, I truly believe that we can fight for the title and be competitive at the highest level for the next three years. On behalf of Kawasaki UK, we would like to thank Pete Extance and the entire Bournemouth Kawasaki team for all of their efforts over the past three seasons with the highlight of course being the Championship win last year! We wish you all the best in whatever the future holds for you and the team."
FS-3 Racing, taking its initials from team chiefs Darren Fry and Nigel Snook while the '3' was Fry’s own race number, has in just four years sprouted from a privately-run outfit out run out of two vans to becoming Kawasaki’s top hope in BSB.
"We are delighted to become the official Kawasaki team and to retain Danny, who has done a fantastic job for us,” says Midlands-based team owner Nigel Snook.
"We are proud to be able to shape raw talent, like Danny, and turn that into race wins. The philosophy of our team is to be focused as just that: a team. What we are really interested in is supporting young, fast riders and getting them up to speed in terms of all aspects of racing. Now we are the official team, we have to step up to the next level.
"2020 is going to be a year of investment and development, with the focus on Danny, while his team-mate will have huge potential to grow and become another significant rider in BSB. By the team we get to the end of next year, we will be looking to run two absolutely top-line riders."
While Buchan’s 2020 team-mate is yet to be announced, MCN believes the most likely contender to be Lee Jackson, who would step up to BSB’s premier class as FS-3's current star performer in the National Superstock 1000 Championship.
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