BSB: Charlie Nesbitt joins VisionTrack Suzuki for 2022 Superstock campaign

Charlie Nesbitt moves into the Superstock class this season
Charlie Nesbitt moves into the Superstock class this season

Reigning GP2 champion Charlie Nesbitt will move into the Pirelli National Superstock Championship with VisionTrack Suzuki this season.

Nesbitt dominated the GP2 class in 2021, taking 14 victories and a further seven podiums on his way to the title. In fact, Nesbitt finished inside the top two in every race that he finished, with just one DNF all year.

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He’ll now race a VisionTrack-supported Suzuki GSX-R1000 prepared by Bennetts British Superbike Championship team, Hawk Racing.

“I couldn’t be happier with my plans for 2022,” Nesbitt said. “Towards the end of last season in GP2, to be honest, I was looking at Superbike and wanted to make the move, but the more I thought about it, going to Superstock first is the best option for me.

“It wasn’t until the final round at Brands Hatch that Steve [Hicken – team manager] spoke to me and we discussed this opportunity. He gave me the chance to do Race of the Year at Mallory with no pressure, just to see how it went, which was great, and then we agreed to put something together this year.”

Nesbitt rode the GSX-R at the Race of the Year event at Mallory Park towards the end of last year, giving him his first taste of a 1000cc motorcycle.

“It’s a big jump from the GP2 bike to the 1000,” Nesbitt added. “The GP2 bike handles so well but the Suzuki does as well, but with a load more power. Mallory last year was my first go on a Superstock bike and it was a bit of an eye opener; Mallory is a physical little circuit anyway without a long straight, and it showed me I have some things to learn and will have to adapt my riding to suit the bigger bike, such as carrying less corner speed, and working on getting the bike stood up so you can use the power to drive out of corners. But I’m looking forward to it.

“I’ve had a bit of bike time already, just to get more comfortable on it before working on setup. But if we can get a good base setting, I want to be running in the top 10 from the off and then pushing for podiums and wins. It won’t be easy but for every bike racer that’s the aim, I’m looking forward to it, and I’m grateful to Steve and everyone else for the opportunity.”

VisionTrack Suzuki GSX-R1000

The partnership between Nesbitt, Hawk Racing and VisionTrack adds yet another layer to latter’s involvement in motorcycle racing. VisionTrack also support Michael Laverty’s Moto3 team, which consists of young British riders, Scott Ogden, and Josh Whatley. VisionTrack also support Laverty’s MLav Academy in the UK.

VisionTrack branding can also be seen in the Superbike class, as title sponsors of Lee Hardy Racing’s Kawasaki team, and a sponsor of the Hawk Racing squad.

“I’ve watched Charlie over the years, and especially last season, and have been very impressed and think he’s a real talent,” VisionTrack CEO, Simon Marsh said. “At the same time, we’ve been involved with Steve and Hawk Racing since 2018. For 2022 Steve approached me with an opportunity to support a Superstock rider and I suggested Charlie would be a good fit, to which Steve said he’d already been in discussions with him and that he wanted him on the bike, so it all came together nicely, and it was a project we wanted to back.

“Our ethos is very much to support young riders and help them showcase their potential, and, with Hawk – a team that always gets the best out of their riders – I really think Charlie can be a contender this year.”

The official 2022 pre-season test programme gets underway this Friday (March 25) with a three-day event at Snetterton. A one-day test at Donington Park follows on March 31, before the paddock heads to Silverstone for a two-day test on April 6-7.

The 2022 season gets underway at Silverstone on April 16-17.

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Josh Close

By Josh Close

Sports Reporter and fan of all things motorsport.