Northern Ireland-based TAS Racing has confirmed its ongoing involvement with Suzuki for the 2011 British Superbike and international road racing seasons, with a two rider line-up in each discipline.
TAS Racing has just enjoyed its most successful BSB campaign to-date in 2010, with both Michael Laverty and Superbike rookie Alastair Seeley progressing through to the inaugural 'Showdown' phase of the championship, in which they would go on to wind up respectively fourth and sixth.
Along the way, there was a breakthrough triumph for Laverty at Oulton Park and a subsequent hard-fought victory over Tommy Hill at Croft later on in the season to the tune of a scant two tenths of a second. The Ulsterman notched up seven further podium finishes, whilst 2009 National Superstock Champion Seeley prevailed in a rain-interrupted outing at Brands Hatch in August and impressed with a rostrum finish in third place in the Brands Hatch curtain-raiser back in April.
A shortlist of riders for both BSB and international road racing in 2011 is presently being evaluated, with an announcement expected in the coming weeks, and team manager Philip Neill – who is supported in the role by his father Hector – confessed that he is delighted the relationship with Suzuki is continuing.
“To say that my father and I are honoured to solely spearhead Suzuki's official racing effort in 2011 would be an understatement,” he acknowledged. “2010 completed an unbroken decade for TAS Racing representing Suzuki. It's a period of time that doesn't even take into consideration my own racing efforts with the official Suzuki motocross team, nor my father's success in the halcyon days of pure road racing, operating as a semi-supported Suzuki team. I think it is fair to say that, deep down, the Neill family are Suzuki through-and-through.
“Taking the current economic situation into consideration, we fully understand that the commercial side of racing is very difficult these days. We also appreciate the tough decisions Suzuki had to make regarding their future racing plans, and with this in-mind, we are delighted that TAS Racing will be entrusted with the overall Suzuki racing programme within the UK.
“We understand and accept that with this new position will come a number of increased expectations – none more so than the delivery of results – but we are determined not to let this affect our approach. As a team, we always apply 100 per cent effort to our racing, and no-one expects more from any given season than our team members themselves.
“Our approach will remain as it always has been – to carry out the role in a professional manner, build the strongest possible team structure, including our rider line-up, and just as important, we will continue to enjoy what we do.
“In addition to showing our appreciation to Suzuki and each member of the team, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our very loyal partners, some of whom have been with TAS Racing from the beginning. Without the support of Relentless, Beacon Security, Leo Vince and many others, we simply would not be in the position we are in today.”