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Stapleford completes Buildbase Suzuki Superbike line-up for 2019

British Supersport title-winner Luke Stapleford will line up alongside Bradley Ray in the Buildbase Suzuki team for this year’s Bennetts British Superbike Championship on the team’s second GSX-R1000R.

2015 Supersport champion Stapleford returns to the British paddock after three seasons in the World Supersport Championship. 2019 will mark the 27-year-old’s first full campaign in the Superbike class, however he already has previous Bennetts BSB experience with a number of wildcard appearances in recent years.

Stapleford said: “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. 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.”

Team manager, Steve Hicken commented: “We’re going into 2019 feeling really confident with our package and feel we’re in with a very good chance of winning both the British Superbike and Superstock championships; we’ve got a strong rider lineup across the classes and we’re in our third year of development with the GSX-R1000R, which should see us start on the front foot come April.

“We’re really pleased to welcome Luke Stapleford to the fold this year. We’ve worked with him in the past as a youngster and maintained a good relationship over the years. His talent is unquestionable and has got past superbike experience, which will stand him in good stead. He’s going to have a lot to learn still, and it’s a hugely competitive field this year, but we’re confident he can get up to speed quickly and have a successful season.”

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