Kawasaki UK awards BSB factory backing to FS-3, retains Danny Buchan

Kawasaki chooses FS-3 Racing as its factory-backed partner for the 2020 British Superbike Championship, re-signs Danny Buchan to a two-rider team

Danny Buchan - FS-3 Racing [credit: Bonnie Lane]

FS-3 Racing will become the official Kawasaki UK backed effort competing in the 2020 British Superbike Championship following the team’s sterling charge to the 2019 BSB Title Showdown with Danny Buchan.

One of the younger outfits on the BSB grid, though it has only ever entered a single Kawasaki entry per season, FS-3 Racing has steadily developed into a regular front-runner with Buchan delivering the team’s maiden victory at Knockhill earlier in the year.

As a reward for its efforts, Kawasaki UK is switching its allegiance to FS-3 Racing for the next three seasons, allowing the team to swell to a two-rider outfit, with Buchan confirmed as riding one of its now factory-backed Kawasaki ZX-10RRs.

FS-3 Racing takes over from Bournemouth Kawasaki, which won the 2018 BSB title with Leon Haslam but has struggled for regular top ten results in 2019. Kawasaki has previously won the BSB title as a partner of Paul Bird Motorsport.

‘’We’re delighted to be going forward into 2020 as Kawasaki’s official BSB entrant and with Danny Buchan with us for a third year,” said team manager Nigel Snook. “Danny has done a fantastic job for the team this year, chalking up race wins and comfortably qualifying for the Showdown. We’re delighted that he’s sticking with us as we operate as a tight knit team.”

“Danny’s performances are a feather in the cap for everyone in the team. Less than four years ago we joined the championship with a second-hand bike and two vans. The key has been putting together a great team of people and working with technical experts who have helped us develop our Ninja ZX-10RR into a race winner. 

“We’ve taken one step at a time and have had great support from Stuart Higgs, our many trade supporters and sponsors. It’s a good feeling to reward everyone’s faith in us as we step up to run two Superbikes on behalf of Kawasaki.”

FS-3, Danny Buchan receive the ultimate validation for BSB rise

It’s been a remarkable rise to prominence for FS-3 Racing, which only made its BSB debut in 2016, showing particularly strong form in the hands of Buchan last year before its breakout campaign in 2019.

Culminating in the team landing its first win at Knockhill, Buchan has consolidated it with five more podiums – including another win at Cadwell Park – to ease into the Title Showdown for the first time in fourth overall.

Moreover, 2019 has seen Buchan come good on the promise many felt he had when he won two National Superstock 1000 titles. With a scatter graph BSB career that began in 2012 – one that took him 76 races to reach the top – Buchan is thrilled to have his 2020 BSB future decided well in advance.

"Most of my racing career has been with Kawasaki so it’s nice to look back on when I first signed up with Team Green in 2010, and now going into 2020 as an official Kawasaki rider and in the official Team Green outfit is just amazing. I’m really looking forward to it,” commented Buchan.

“My goal for next year is to win the championship and that’s that. There is no other outcome for me. I’ve made my way to the top in all the other classes I’ve raced in, because I want to win.”

“There will be some strong competition, but it will come down to our testing programme and how much we can get done in the off season to prepare. I am riding very well now so hopefully we can take the edge off the competition and get ourselves at the front regularly, fighting for wins every weekend. I want to solidify myself as a regular race winner and not just Danny Buchan, the showdownrider, so that’s the goal for 2020,

As for who could join him, it’s reasonable to think Hector Barbera’s decision to join the current Kawasaki UK effort has an option for 2020, but his indifferent form may make both parties think twice.

Bournemouth Kawasaki scales back for BSB 2020, may withdraw

A year ago Bournemouth Kawasaki – under the JG Speedfit banner – were celebrating with a dominant (and long awaited) title win for Leon Haslam, but this year not only has success been hard to find but even points have been scant.

Signing Ben Currie and Glenn Irwin to lead its efforts, the former started the year with an injury, while the latter never got to grips with the ZX-10RR before they parted ways. The fact he joined Tyco BMW and proved instantly competitive again will have served as an eye-opener for Kawasaki when it came to deciding on its 2020 plans.

The team itself reveals it will scale back for 2020 in an effort to focus on its core dealership business, which could lead to it withdrawing altogether.

“For the last four years we have been asked by Kawasaki UK to open another dealership in nearby Hampshire which is an open point for Kawasaki and an important area for motorcycle sales,” team manager Peter Extance said.

“So far, we have managed to hold off opening a new shop but we feel that now the time is right and we need to make the move, or another dealer may be appointed by Kawasaki UK which wouldn’t make good business sense.

“We have had two amazing seasons in 2017 and 2018 as the official team, culminating in winning the BSB title with Leon Haslam last year which was the proudest racing moment for our Bournemouth Kawasaki squad.”

“If we do decide to carry on racing, the options are to continue in the BSB championship on a much smaller scale or just concentrate on the roads,” he said.

“Whatever we decide I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all my staff for their incredible hard work, along with Kawasaki UK for entrusting us with the official team, and all of our sponsors who are still standing by us waiting for us to confirm our plans for 2020."