Kirkham replaces Hartley at Halsall Kawasaki

Former BSB race winner Jon Kirkham switches from Tsingtao WK Kawasaki to replace young Harry Hartley in the Halsall Kawasaki team
Jon Kirkham is to join Halsall Kawasaki from the fourth round of the 2014 MCE British Superbike Championship following confirmation that the team has parted ways with Harry Hartley.

Kirkham began the year with the Tsingtao WK Kawasaki outfit, but was conspicuous by his absence during race day at Snetterton over the weekend, the former Superstock champion revealing on Twitter: “Due to limited testing and a lack of feeling with bike I'm not happy and watching this one [the races] from the fence”.

As such, Kirkham has jumped to Halsall Kawasaki to take the place of 17-year-old Hartley, who has been released from his contract in favour of a rider with more experience to challenge for the top six.

"We are disappointed to let Harry go as we believe he has the talent to make it as a top Superbike rider,” said team manager Jack Valentine. “At this early stage, the team needs stability to ensure we can be consistently in the points and this is a big ask of a young rider with so little experience.

A rider that has won races under the guidance of Valentine during his time at Samsung Crescent Suzuki, the manager is certain Kirkham – who finished seventh overall in 2013 – will flourish in his new surroundings.

"Bringing Jon Kirkham into the team was not planned; it was just a coincidence that he became available as we needed a rider. Jon is a good rider who has won races and finished on the podium for me before.

“He's had a tough time this season but I think if we can get him back on a competitive bike, we'll start to see the old Jon Kirkham. He has shown in the past that he is more than capable of top six finishes in BSB and if we can start getting those results, I have no doubt he will be challenging for podiums eventually."

Hartley's exit – having become the youngest rider to start a BSB race at just 17-years-old – comes after Lee Costello parted ways with the team ahead of the second round at Oulton Park.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jon Kirkham - Tsingtao Kawasaki [pic credit: Ian Hopgood Photography]
Jake Dixon, RAF Reserves Kawasaki [Credit: MSV BSB Media]
Jason O`Halloran, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Josh Brookes, Anvil Hire Yamaha, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Luke Mossey, JG Speedfit Kawasaki, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Peter Hickman, Smiths BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tommy Bridewell, Team WD-40 Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Bradley Ray, Buildbase Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Sylvain Guintoli, Bennetts Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
James Ellison, McAMS Yamaha [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Alastair Seeley, Tyco BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Lee Jackson, Smiths Racing BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Haslam, Byrne, Mossey, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]

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June 19, 2014 10:40 AM
Last Edited 301 days ago

What is going on in this team? Bridewell in then out last year reported as not by Bridwells choice. Costello dumped this year after being praised by the team all the way through 2013. Hartley bought in and Martin Halsall said he wanted to bring on a young rider and was pleased he was able to offer opportunities like that to young riders, now he's out. Seems strange, considering Hartley's first year on a SBK he'd hardly disgraced himself. Is this the BSB equivalent of Effenbert Liberty in WSBK?


June 19, 2014 4:09 PM

TomS got from a' friend of a friend' who actually did actually speak to him the day after the event. Apparently he was underwhelmed by the way things were being run, lack of spares and what seems a general lack of money/commitment. I dont think he ranted and raved - more just 'this isnt woking, lets call it quits' dont know for sure - but he was probably paying for the ride so if he felt it wasnt worth what he was paying then its quite reasonable to walk away and stop putting in good money after bad.

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