BSB

Stapleford completes Buildbase Suzuki line-up for 2019

Luke Stapleford to line-up next to Bradley Ray to form Buildbase Suzuki's 2019 BSB squad
Stapleford completes Buildbase Suzuki line-up for 2019

Luke Stapleford will line-up alongside Bradley Ray to form the 2019 Bennetts British Superbike squad at Buildbase Suzuki.

Stapleford effectively replaces Richard Cooper in the Hawk Racing's BSB team, with Cooper returning to fight for the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 series with the squad, to complete its 2019 rider formation.

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The 2015 British Supersport champion will contest his rookie BSB campaign after a handful of previous wildcard appearances in between competing in the World Supersport championship for the past three years.

“I’ve got a good relationship with Steve [Hicken, team manager] and the team, and we’ve worked together before and we know each other well,” Stapleford said. “We’d talked in the past but honestly I was still enjoying riding the 600. But we talked again after last season and I was at a point where I wanted a change from what I was doing in World Supersport – I was riding in a family-run team and honestly it was a lot of effort that took the shine off racing a motorbike a little bit.

“I’d had a few offers in BSB before, after the title in 2015, but now I feel the timing and the package is right. It’s going to be hard, I know that, but I think we’ll get there. We’ve not set any specific targets so much, and we’re being realistic, but at the same time my goal is to be at the front.

“It’s going to take time to get up to speed and a lot of hard work, but that’s where we want to be and I know the team and the bike can be there. The feeling in 2015 of winning the British Supersport title is what’s kept me going, and I want the feeling of winning races, and eventually a championship, again.”

Stapleford becomes the 29th rider confirmed for the 2019 BSB grid and fills the final high-profile race seat remaining.

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