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BSB 2011: Pre-Brands Hatch Rider Quotes

Comments from the riders ahead of this weekend's BSB action

Samsung Suzuki

John Hopkins: "We've had a great run-up to the season, the testing has been fantastic and I'm so impressed with how the team works, it's all very professional. And having had a chance to get a race under my belt in MotoGP means I'm not as race rusty as I might have been.

"But now it's all about getting the best results we can in BSB, and nothing less. I am 100% focused on the racing to come and I'll be doing everything I can to get the results we deserve. I've said that I want to enjoy my racing much more now, to put on a good show for the fans, but I also know that BSB is one of the toughest arenas in bike sport. This is no walk in the park, this is racing at its toughest and tough is how I must come into this. You don't go racing to finish well-placed, you go racing to win."

Jon Kirkham: "Brands is going to be a weekend of reckoning, that's for sure. This is my rookie season and so the team has worked hard to give me all the support I've needed in coming to terms with the BSB environment. As a result I'm in a far stronger position coming into the season than I thought possible just three months ago.

"The pre-season testing has been very thorough and by staying dedicated to the task I'm arriving at Brands Hatch with lap times that have surprised even me. Of course, there's a big difference once we're all on track together – that's when the gloves come off – but I couldn't be in a better position than the team has got me to right now."

HM Plant Honda

Kiyo: "Our pre-season testing has been very good. At every circuit we had lots to test, probably more than last year, but with Shakey we have worked together and we have been getting faster. We have tried very hard over the winter to improve as we want to win again! It is going to be important to be winning races at every round. There is a lot of pressure before Brands Hatch for everyone because nobody knows who is going to be fast. There is pressure on me because I am champion, but after the first race I think we can relax a little because there is so much that is unknown before we start racing. Shakey is especially fast at Brands Hatch and we are quite equal with our settings and our Fireblades so we will have to wait to see who is faster! I think the riders that were fighting for the championship last season will be there again and there are so many other riders who will also be fast. I want to win at Brands Hatch, for myself and the team and also the people of Japan."

Shakey: “It’s been a long winter but I am really ready to race now. I have said from the outset that the HM Plant Honda team knows how to make the Fireblade work; they have won titles so we know the potential we have, ahead of this season. Myself and Kiyo have been working together in testing and we have been heading in a very similar direction in terms of set-up, but now testing is done and it’s down to business. The Brands Hatch weekend is going to be massive; it is a track I have missed dearly since the last time I raced in BSB back in 2008. To be honest rolling down Paddock Hill Bend on the HM Plant Honda Fireblade on Good Friday will be enough to put a smile on my face from the start. I always seem to get lots of local support there and I want to do a good job on Easter Monday for the fans as well as myself and the team. The talking stops at Brands Hatch; it is then all about the racing.”

Buildbase BMW Motorrad

Ian Lowry: “We’ve had a good chance to get out on the bikes, iron out some teething problems and get some solid time on the bikes. The team are working very hard and we’ve got some great development work done, putting us in a great position for our first race of the year.”

John Laverty: “I’ve been getting more familiar with the new bike, sticking some miles on it and getting used to riding it both on my own and, at Snetterton, alongside the other teams. It’s all coming together nicely, and I’m very excited to get to Brand’s Hatch this weekend.”

Splitlath Aprilia

Hudson Kennaugh: “I think our catchphrase for this weekend is going to be ‘one step at a time’. We haven’t tested the bike in its entirety, but we have tested little bits here and there and I have to say the bike is awesome.

“I think at the end of Friday after the first shakedown we’ll have a good idea of which direction we need to go in, but I’m feeling very positive at this point. I have to thank the team because they have worked tirelessly this last week to get the bikes ready, particularly John who has grafted hard to make this possible.”

Jenny Tinmouth: “I’m very excited and I just can’t wait to get out on the bike. It’s been a long off-season and I’m looking forward to finally getting going.

MSS Kawasaki

Stuart Easton: “I like Brands but the Indy circuit is very short for nearly 40 bikes! I like every corner though so I feel confident and the bike should be even better with its new exhaust and cams. I need two string finishes in round one but who knows what we at MSS can achieve?!”

Gary Mason: “The timing is spot on really, it’s all been building, building…. Need to make all the testing and teamwork pay off now, I feel so focused to try and do well from the off.

“Being realistic, I guess I need to treat the weekend as a test but I’m looking forward to getting out on the bike and getting used to it – and having some fun while I’m out there.”