Team Changes Focus: North West 200 and IOM TT are in, Le Mans 24H and Albacete 8H out.
Firstly, welcome back to what will undoubtedly be a great season.
Straight away I want to thank our returning sponsors, our new sponsors and all who support the team with effort, finance or products. Together, 2010 is going to be a great season! A big welcome to you all.
After much soul searching the decision has been made to resist the temptation to dilute the quality of the Team’s entries in favour of the quantity of the races. In short; we feel that it is better to compete only when we can have a realistic chance of a rostrum finish, rather than spread it thinly and just make up numbers. Having set pole and finished second at the last WEC race of 2009, it reminded us of where we should be. With the right rider line-up, the team and machinery showed its true capability and delivered the results. Its just too frustrating to continue being held back.
So, for 2010, we go forward. The early season focus moves towards the roads, to build on our 2008 TT results (8th with Steve Plater in Superstock and 10th with Michael Dunlop in the Senior) and to make our debut at the NW200. The aim is for at least top sixes at both events. Carl Rennie, 5th in last year’s TT Senior race is just the man to deliver the goods and will race the Team’s Superbike and new Superstock and Supersport machines. (Thanks to Yamaha UK and Yamaha Europe for these bikes). Carl will be supported by ex- Shell Endurance Academy rider and best 2009 TT newcomer, Ben Wylie, who will ride another Phase One Superbike plus his own 600.
The Team head for Albacete this week for the Dunlop tests on the 15th /16th March, when the riders will try the bikes for the first time. Then it’s off to Almeria for a further two days with the classic endurance bikes, this year being raced at the classic Bol d’Or by Hugh Brasher and Peter Linden.
The aim is to compete at Spa, the Bol d’Or and Qatar. A very high quality rider line-up has been agreed in principle for Qatar, held at a time when there are no clashes with British Superbike events. For the Bol d’Or, we are aiming for a very special two-bike entry in conjunction with BIKE magazine (all very hush-hush at the moment) and a return to Spa will be very welcome after what must be an 8 year absence.
With Carl on three bikes and Ben on two, both the roads events are going to be very busy indeed. We have great hopes for both riders. Clearly Carl is by far the more experienced and is the most likely to deliver the top results. However, Ben’s fine start last year, earning best newcomer can only be built upon. It is hoped that Ben will feed from Carl’s experience to improve his own performance. The endurance bikes have been up spec’ed to meet the challenge of the superbike and senior races and a superstock bike has been built. Carl is preparing an R6, supplied by Yamaha, as is Ben. Dunlop will provide the rubber and Yamalube the fluids…….we will know more after testing.
2010 Phase One Season
Classic Bol d’Or, Nevers – France – 10th/11th April
NW 200 – Great Britain – 15th/16th May
IOM TT – Great Britain – 27th May to 11thJune
Spa 8H – Belgium – 14th /15th August
Magny Cours Bol d’Or 24H – France – 10th /11th September
Cartegena classic 6H – Spain – 25th September
Losail 8H – Qatar – 17th November
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