Brands Hatch Grand Prix: GBmoto Racing ends racing commitments after BSB finale

GBmoto Racing confirms it has withdrawn from racing after the final round of the 2016 MCE British Superbike championship at Brands Hatch.
GBmoto Racing confirms it has withdrawn from racing after the final round of the 2016 MCE British Superbike championship at Brands Hatch.

Having enjoyed a rapid rise up the BSB ranks the team will end its racing commitment for 'fundamental reasons' according to boss Mark Smith-Halvorsen with all riders and team crew heading in different direction for 2017.

The GBmoto Racing team – which ran under the JG Speedfit Kawasaki banner – secured 50% of all race wins in BSB this year with the trio of Leon Haslam, James Ellison and Peter Hickman achieving a unique feat of taking all three spots on the rostrum in race one at Oulton Park in September.

Despite Haslam missing out on the BSB title to Be Wiser Ducati's Shane Byrne at Brands Hatch, the team still enjoyed its best-ever season with Haslam second, James Ellison finishing third and Peter Hickman winning the BSB Riders' Cup.

“It is with a heavy heart, but for some fundamental reasons that I draw a line under not only this season, but cease the racing activities of GBmoto too,” Smith-Halvorsen said. “Fear not, for I am confident that all of our people will all go on to shine in all number of other places and different ways because others want and need their talent, drive and determination.

“I want to thank all of our sponsors, suppliers and fans for what they have done to encourage and support us along the way.”

BSB series' director Stuart Higgs paid tribute to the GBmoto Racing squad and wished them a positive future away from racing.

“I want to wish good luck and best wishes to Mark and his staff for the future,” Higgs said. “GBmoto Racing has celebrated many achievements this year topped by the unbeatable feat of the first ever complete BSB podium lock out with all three riders at Oulton Park.”

Haslam currently has a two-year deal with Kawasaki and is believed to be staying in BSB, while it is speculated Ellison is close to agreeing terms with a new team for 2017. Hickman is continuing to look for a new outfit having switched to the Bathams SMT Racing BMW to defend his Macau Grand Prix title after initially been entered with GBmoto Racing.
by Haydn Cobb

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Leon Haslam James Ellison Peter Hickman [Credit:]
Andy Reid, Tyco BMW, [Credit: TAS Racing]
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]

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October 18, 2016 1:43 PM

it will be interesting to see where Peter Hickman goes, as it'll likely be a team that will do the roads too - i think all 3 have done enough to earn a ride next season though, be a shame if any were missing

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