Relentless Suzuki by TAS Racing has announced its rider line-up for the 2010 British Superbike Championship after team manager Philip Neill secured the signatures of reigning British Superstock Champion Alastair Seeley and fellow Northern Ireland rider Michael Laverty earlier this week.
Laverty needs little introduction, having secured the 2007 British Supersport title in Relentless Suzuki colours before spearheading the team’s maiden effort in the British Superbike Championship in 2008.
Seeley was something of a phenomenon during 2009, taking the British Superstock title with nine wins from nine starts on his GSX-R1000 Suzuki, before dipping his toe in the British Superbike pond as an end of season bonus.
Both men will ride factory-supported Relentless Suzuki Superbike machines with iconic Suzuki numbers – Seeley will run number 34 and Laverty number 7 for the 2010 season – and Neill is confident of immediate success.
“Not many teams can boast the services of two British champions, which we have secured in Michael Laverty and Alastair Seeley. It’s fair to say our plans for this season have taken a little longer than normal to finalise as we did our best to consider the requirements of our sponsors,” said Neill. “With this in mind, 2010 carries increased expectations from TAS Racing and its riders, but I am more than confident, we have chosen the correct line up in order to meet these requirements.
“As a team we will enter our third term in British Superbike, and having already secured both the British Supersport and Superstock Championships, we are now ready to challenge the front running teams for the Superbike title. We fully believe the Relentless Suzuki GSX-R1000 is the correct tool for the job and with one year’s development behind us already, we will hit the ground running when our testing programme begins in Spain during early March.”
Neill also commented on his two new riders for the BSB series in 2010.
“Alastair was provisionally confirmed as part of our line up in November after delivering the 2009 British Superstock title, which in my eyes could not go unrewarded. His youthful enthusiasm belies his experience, and together with his calculated style of racing, I believe he will deliver success beyond everyone’s expectation in his rookie Superbike season.
“Michael returns to TAS Racing after a year competing in AMA Superbike with considerable success. He will be charged with the task of spearheading our development programme, whilst challenging for a top-three championship position, in this all important year. I firmly believe Michael has not yet had the opportunity to deliver his full potential in British Superbike racing and together with my enthusiastic work force, I am happy to put my faith in Michael.”
Both riders are eager to kick-start their 2010 season in the warmer climates during March and feel 2010 will be a successful year in Relentless Suzuki colours.
“I’m really happy to be joining the Suzuki family again and returning to the Relentless Suzuki set-up. I believe the team’s GSX-R1000 is capable of winning races this year, so it’s up to me to deliver,” Laverty said. “I know what I’m coming into this year having ridden for Philip before, and I know the effort the whole team has put in, to step things up. After some pre-season testing I will be aiming for wins from the word go. I really think we’ll turn a few heads this year.”
Seely is also confident for success, looking forward to the challenge.
“I’m obviously glad to have found out I’ll be riding a Superbike, as that’s what I set my heart on after getting a taste for it at Oulton Park last season,” Seeley said. “Having Michael as a team mate will be great as he brings a lot of Superbike experience with him and that can only be good for early season set-up. I’m just looking forward to getting started in Spain and gelling with the whole team again.”