Team Owner of Halsall Racing Martin Halsall speaks to us about his decision to ditch Suzuki for the 2017 BSB campaign in an attempt to fight for the showdown positions. He tells us the reasons behind the split, his 2017 options and also the team’s end of season objective.
Why are you leaving Suzuki for 2017?
Primarily, we weren’t getting any clear indication of when we were going to get this new bike; we have had probably five or six promises of this “new bike” but we no delivery. Now obviously, we are an established team now in BSB and we want to start attracting front running riders like we have over the last couple of seasons. It’s a struggle to do that when we are sitting down with possible riders and not telling them what bike they’ll be riding. It’s just poor communication with everything really; I run businesses and I need, clear defined answers for me to attract sponsors and riders too. I was in a catch 22 position really; I either stayed with Suzuki, not caring who I put on the bike, but that isn’t me, or I have to make a decision and change manufacturer and then have the right conversation with the right riders.
Rider line up for 2017?
Hopefully Tommy (Bridewell) will stay, we haven’t put pen to paper yet but the most important thing for Tommy is that he has to be happy, and he is happy with us and we are very happy with him. It is a combination that is work well this year so we have to be happy really. There’s a number of riders I’d like to name and get but at this stage it is all up in the air.
Are you staying with 1 rider for the last rounds?
Yes, we are staying with one rider however, we have kept hold of the whole team from the other side of the garage too. We haven’t let anyone go, so the garage is quite busy with just one rider but two teams worth of mechanics. Primarily, we have done that because we have a structured team and I think that when we talk to riders next year, it will make us more attractive to them because we have that structure, so we can go straight into racing.
Will Bennett’s remain your title sponsor?
Yes that deal is more or less sorted. It’s just a case now of trying to slot in with another manufacturer and trying to make that work really.
What is the objective for the final few races?
Be a nuisance! It was a real shame about Tommy not making it into the showdown. He’s one of the most versatile riders out there, he will race whatever you put under him. If you put a little scooter under him he would give it his best shot. With what we have got he’s done a great job, he has really brought his bit to the table. We put a new swinging arm on the bike half way through the season and put new brakes on at Cadwell Park so we have invested quite a lot in the package we have. I’m sure the last couple of rounds, going to Assen and Brands will be quite exciting. He was on the podium at Brands so let’s hope for the same, he just needs to sort his race ones out!
What manufacturer will you be running next year?
I can’t say at the moment. We have had a few conversations with a few different people, and we are working on sorting out the bike. I can’t even give you most likely, it’s all really a case of getting negotiations done and seeing where we go from there.
Thank you to Gareth Davies for the image.
Kiko Giles @MotoGPKiko