An exclusive interview with Quattro Plant Kawasaki's Luke Mossey reflects on a terrific rookie year in BSB, his goals for the future and taking on the lead rider status at Quattro Plant Kawasaki in 2016

Crash.net:
First of all congratulations on winning the British Superbike Riders' Cup this season Luke, how proud are you of the achievement?

Luke Mossey:
I am very proud of it, for any rider to win the BSB Riders' Cup in their first year is a massive achievement. We did struggle at the start of the year but we kept our heads down and kept chipping away as the results got better and better each weekend and before we knew it we were at Thruxton taking our first podium and ever since then we got our confidence back and went on a wave from then on to the last round. I think we were consistently inside the top eight in every practice, qualifying and the races at the final round. If you said that to me at the start of the year I would have laughed in your face. For a rookie, I think it is a great achievement.

Crash.net:
With the podiums at Thruxton as you mentioned as well as at Assen, was there a particular standout moment for you this year?

Luke Mossey:
Probably Assen because we lead our first Superbike race and we got on the podium. To lead my first Superbike was definitely a nice feeling.

Crash.net:
In those final three rounds you were consistently running inside the top five, top six with those in the Showdown, was it a case of everything clicking and having the confidence to push?

Luke Mossey:
It was definitely down to confidence. Any rider will tell you that. At Silverstone we were quite disappointed because we had a good qualifying in fifth but in the race one we made the wrong tyre choice with the rear and we had a crash unfortunately and in the second race I made a mistake and ran on. So Silverstone didn't really go to plan, the practice times did show we had the pace but it was one of those weekends and none of those are perfect.

Apart from that weekend it was definitely down to confidence and once I got that podium at Thruxton it set a trend off.

Crash.net:
With that pace and confidence coming towards the end of the season was it frustrating that due to the Showdown format you couldn't challenge any higher in terms of championship positions, despite securing the BSB Riders' Cup?

Luke Mossey:
Yeah it was a little bit annoying because throughout the last three rounds, and I won't name names, but there were certain guys who did not perform. As soon as they got into the Showdown they didn't put 100% in so it was annoying. They are supposed to be the experienced riders showing us the way and they didn't really perform. It was frustrating. I'm not saying they did the wrong thing but I think it was annoying because if we were more consistent at the start we could have been there. It is difficult to say though as we were finding our feet in the Superbike class and it was hard but if we had some good results at the start there is no doubt we could have been in the Showdown. Hopefully we can make it next year.

Crash.net:
Another key to your success in 2015 was your consistency and ability to always get the bike to the chequered flag. What was the secret behind that?

Luke Mossey:
I have got a good team around me, a good bike and I think I have the best mechanics. We had a few issues at the start of the year but we fixed them quickly and the team gave me the perfect bike every time I sat on it. Obviously, a rider has got to have good people around him to feel comfortable and go fast and my mechanics have done brilliant all year. I can't fault any of them.

Crash.net:
As it was your rookie year in BSB were there any other important lessons you felt you picked up this season?

Luke Mossey:
My crew chief, Ray Stringer, kept trying to change to riding style quite drastically from what I was used to when I was riding the 600cc machinery. When we got to Snetterton where we got our first top ten, in qualifying he said to me go out there and ride it like you did in the 600cc and ever since I did that it has been getting better and better. Now that the bikes are better and the tyres are better you can ride the Superbike like a 600cc so I completely scrapped trying to learn to ride a Superbike and went back to my old ways carrying the corner speed.

Crash.net:
You've recently re-signed for Quattro Plant Kawasaki for the 2016 BSB championship, how much convincing did you need to stay?

Luke Mossey:
Since the last four rounds we were in talks with the team owner Pete Extance and it is nice to stay at the team for a second year because I know what I am doing I know who I am with and I know there is a new bike but that is the only thing that is different. It is nice to stay with the same team and it is a nice, family-run team and I get on with everyone there so I think we can do some real damage in 2016.

Crash.net:
With Kawasaki launching the new ZX-10R, what are the team's plan with it and when can we expect to see you in action on it?

Luke Mossey:
We have the new model already and as we speak it is in our workshop preparing for next year. We should be getting on it in January but I am not sure what date yet for a shakedown test somewhere in England and then hopefully another shakedown test in Spain before the official tests at the start of March.

Crash.net:
What are your expectations of the new bike?

Luke Mossey:
I've read what Ellison has said about it and I know that he was largely on a stock bike and he said great things about it. I know that it is going to be a good package and it will be a big challenger next year so I am already looking forward to getting my leg over it and start testing. I think we are going to be turning some heads.

Crash.net:
You can agree or disagree with this statement but with the changes at your team it looks like you are going to become the lead rider for Quattro Plant Kawasaki in BSB. Does that give you any extra pressure?

Luke Mossey:
Not necessarily. It is a nice feeling but I know what job I have to do for myself. Obviously I have the team's goals for what they want to achieve but I also have my personal goals for what I want to achieve. It is a team effort and they expect a lot from me but I also expect a lot from myself.

Crash.net
There has been a fair amount of chopping and changing of teams and riders this winter for 2016 but you are one of the few riders at the front staying with the same team and same manufacturer (as well as Dan Linfoot and Jason O'Halloran and Honda, Michael Laverty at Tyco BMW and James Ellison and JG Speedfit Kawasaki). Do you think that may give you an early advantage over the rest?

Luke Mossey:
I think it will do because a lot of new riders will be getting used to their new bikes and learning whereas even though we have the new Kawasaki it is not much different from last year, only a few modifications but they are good ones. Same team and same bike definitely gives me an advantage going into testing but only time will tell when we get to the official tests in Spain in March with all the other teams to see where we end up.

Crash.net:
With all that in place, what is your target in BSB for 2016?

Luke Mossey:
We have got to aim for the Showdown and more really. To get seventh this year when we would have liked to have been in the Showdown so that is what we have to aim for. I don't want to say championships because I still think that is punching a bit high at the moment and I am still sort of a rookie but if we can get top three which I think we are capable of we can be happy. Obviously a couple of wins along the way would be brilliant but the main aim is to be consistent and get on the podium as many times as we can to end up in the top three at the end of the year.

 

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