Buildbase Suzuki team fielding talented riders for 2021

For the Buildbase Suzuki superbike race team, the new 2021 season is one like they’ve never seen before.

The impact of Covid-19 has meant no international travel, so no practice riding in sunny climates. As team manager, Steve Hicken told the Buildbase blog: “Imagine – the riders are getting back onto 200hp motorcycles, so we need to approach this cautiously in the first place and slowly build up to speed!”

With the season proper not starting until the end of this month at Oulton Park – to allow more spectators to attend the 25th anniversary season – this means the race meetings will be condensed from the usual eight months into five. And if injuries put a rider on the side-lines for a few weeks, that could mean missing a number of races. Steve added: “This will be a short, sharp season and we need to be aware that any mistakes could cost us dearly.”

Despite the difficult conditions for the 2021 season, Steve is confident that Buildbase Suzuki has “one of the most talented ride line-ups on the grid” this year. “We’re fortunate to be racing at all. The Championship has put together a really good plan and we need to get the crowds back in. We’re desperate to get racing and really can’t wait,” Steve said.

Buildbase Suzuki team riders 2021

Team riders this year are Tim Neave, Gino Rea and new teammate, Danny Kent.

Danny, a former Moto 3 World Championship winner, was the first British world champion superbike rider for 38 years. Though he was signed only after the end of last season – and hasn’t done a track session with the team yet – Steve is confident he has “the natural ability and credentials to become one of the main guys” in this season’s championship.

Danny said: I’m very excited and motivated for 2021 race season to get started. My fitness training this winter has gone really well, I’ve made some good improvements and am feeling strong and ready to get going. I can’t wait to climb on the Hawk Buildbase Suzuki and start working with the team!

“I’m under no illusions that it will be a tough year, being my first full year in Superbike, but I couldn’t be with a better team. I’m sure, with a good pre-season, working on all the right things in testing and not just looking for lap times we can all have a great year.”

Gino, known as “Speedy G” and a former European champion – continues with the team after an impressive 2020 season, finishing fourth at Donington Park. He said: “I’m itching to get this season started! With the delayed start it means a longer wait but also means we’ll see the return of spectators trackside, which is exciting for the championship!

“We have a few tests before the first race which I’m really looking forward to! The Buildbase Suzuki team and I have been working hard in the off-season, so I’m eager to get back on the superbike and start 2021!”

Tim, having joined Buildbase Suzuki in 2019, competed in the 2020 Superstock 1000 championship and took first place at Silverstone while sharing the podium at Donington Park. He said: “It is a very exciting time for me, as I am with Buildbase Suzuki for the second season running. I’m really looking forward to building on what we achieved together last season and hoping to fight for the championship. We have a proven race winning bike and team, so it’s down to me.”

A great crew, new bike specs and self-belief

The close-knit, Buildbase Suzuki team crew will remain the same for this year and will be working with new bike developments including a new engine spec, base electrics designed by the Japanese factory and a new suspension design.

“We’re examining every area of the bike to improve performance and reliability day in, day out. And, to support that, you need a crew the riders can really trust,” Steve said.

“You’ve got to have massive self-belief as a superbike rider without becoming cocky. It’s not a team sport like football when other players carry you; you need to find the goods but be a team player to get the most from your crew – building relationships with the people who will make the difference with your machine.

“This is the world’s toughest domestic superbike championship and the winners aren’t set in stone. Every team in the paddock can win and this gives every team the chance to shine,” he said.

Click here for more information about the Buildbase Suzuki sponsorship.