BSB Thruxton: Luke Stapleford replaces injured Tim Neave at Buildbase Suzuki

Luke Stapleford rides the Buildbase Suzuki GSX-R1000R at Thruxton in 2019
Luke Stapleford rides the Buildbase Suzuki GSX-R1000R at Thruxton in 2019

Luke Stapleford will replace the injured Tim Neave in the Pirelli National Superstock Championship this weekend at Thruxton.

Neave tore his Acromioclavicular (AC) joint ligament in an accident on the final lap of the opening race at Brands Hatch last weekend. Neave’s recommended recovery period is six weeks, however the Buildbase Suzuki rider will have a check-up scan prior to round four at Donington Park to see if he’s able to ride.

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Stapleford, who won the British Supersport title in 2015 before competing in the world championship, has previous experience on the GSX-R1000R, having rode for the Hawk Racing outfit in the Superbike class in 2019 – picking up a best result of fourth at Assen. He also rode the Superstock bike at the official test at Silverstone in April and has raced a stock-spec GSX-R at Mallory Park.

“It’s obviously not nice for Tim to be in the situation he’s in and I hope he recovers quickly,” Stapleford said. “For me coming in, I’m looking forward to it and I think Thruxton offers the most level playing field possible as no one’s ridden there since 2019 – which is when I last rode there on the superbike – and no one’s done masses of testing. It’s also hard on tyres and I tend to be quite kind on tyre life.

“I’m probably not as physically fit as I have been, but I’m definitely bike fit: I’ve been doing a lot of motocross and I’ve ridden the GSX-R stocker this year at the Silverstone test and at Mallory, and I did an EMRA meeting on it too. I also had one as a practice bike in 2019 so I’m comfortable with the bike and know there won’t be any surprises this weekend. But we haven’t done any messing around with settings and setup, so I’m looking forward to a proper race weekend again and getting stuck in.

“I’m not setting any specific targets as it would be easy to set myself up for a fall, but that said, I’m not turning up to have a weekend away, I’d like to be somewhere near and in the mix.”

Billy McConnell leads the way in the Superstock class after the opening five races. The Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW rider holds a three-point advantage over Taylor Mackenzie in the standings, whilst Fraser Rodgers is a further seven points back in third spot.

Josh Close

By Josh Close

Sports Reporter and fan of all things motorsport.