Crash.Net BSB News
WFR targets title with three-pronged attack
16 November 2011
WFR Honda is setting its sights on the overall MCE British Superbike Championship title in 2012 after unveiling its three-man rider line-up of Alex Lowes, Graeme Gowland and James Westmoreland.
The British team made its BSB debut in 2011 and proceeded to dominate the EVO series, winning all but four of the 26 races with its line-up of title winner Glen Richards, Gowland, Lowes and Jake Zemke.
With Lowes re-joining the team, after parting ways three events into 2011, and Westmoreland and Gowland returning, the latter having won 12 of the final 13 EVO races and notching up a series of overall top ten finishes, WFR team manager Myles Schofield is thrilled with his line-up.
"I am thrilled to have three riders that represent the best young British talent, riding for Team WFR next year. We have known for a while who we wanted but to get all three of them is a great coup. I think this line up signals our intent - and that is to win the British Superbike Championship in 2012.
With new regulations coming into force for 2012, similar to those of the EVO class, Schofield is hoping a year spent in the sub-category will give his outfit an advantage over its rivals heading into the new season.
“As the leading Evo team I like to think we have a little bit of a head start and we'll certainly use what we learnt last year to the best of our advantage. We are also fortunate in that we have a three-pronged attack with a trio of riders who are all capable of winning races so I am very excited now to see what happens come April."
Having struggled in the first half of the season with injuries, Gowland emerged as a revelation in 2011, dominating the second-half of the year and freqeuntly troubling the championship class contenders.
"I can't wait for next year, it really can't come soon enough for me. I think that the experiences last season on the Evo spec bike has definitely taught me a lot in terms of race craft and tyre conservation that will probably catch some other riders out next year with the new rules.
"We can almost just get on with it now as it is what we know and what we have become used to and I think that could surprise some people. We had a few minor problems this season but I believe now that we ironed those out at the test in Spain a few weeks ago and we will only be back stronger."
Westmoreland, meanwhile, stays on with WFR having joined it in the final stages of 2011 to develop its 2012-specification machine.
"It is great for me to know I am going to be working with team WFR Honda next season. I obviously finished last season with them and I know that we will have a good direction for 2012. I am made up about joining them for the full season as they put a lot of effort into their racing and for sure they have a great package.
"I rode a version of the 2012 specification bike at Donington Park and even between then and the end of the season there were big improvements. Then from the end of the season to the end of the recent test we had in Spain we saw even more changes and steps forward and we know what else we need to do before we start racing again next year.