On a surprisingly warm summers day in the Knockhill pit lane, I caught up with championship leader Luke Mossey, getting his thoughts on the season so far, having Leon Haslam as a teammate and his prospects for this year and beyond. Mossey went on to take a podium (2nd) in race one and 4th in race two but leads the championship by a huge 30 points over teammate Haslam, who was absent from Knockhill following a free practice accident.
How would you sum up your season so far?
I’ve had two strong years on the Superbike, including the rookie year. We’ve had some strong testing and we said to ourselves we are ready to win races. Not only did we do that but we got our first double as well. I couldn’t really ask for a better season so far up to this point.
Are you under pressure having Leon as your teammate or do you learn things?
We’ve learnt a few things but I never doubted my ability. We knew we had speed and the issues that we did experience have gone. Of course, having Leon in the team will up my game and it will need to if I am to match a man of his stature because he’s been around a long time and has a wealth of experience. We are ready to up our game further but so far, so good.
Would you consider being at an advantage in comparison to Leon, having had more time with this team?
No, not really. It is only my third year and I’ve been on a thousand for two and a half years, whereas Leon has been around for about 15 years so I wouldn’t say that’s an advantage at all. Having a third season with the team brings some nice continuity but Leon has got experience.
Can you focus more on racing without him being your teammate for this round and possibly the next?
I like Leon and I get on really well with him but at the end of the day he’s just another guy I need to beat. It doesn’t matter if he was here, he’d have been at the front. His absence doesn’t really effect me or my team that much really.
Is Leon your main title threat?
If I’m honest, it’s Leon and Shakey for sure. Shakey had a bit of bad start to the year at Donington Park but he’s always going to be there or there abouts for sure.
How is it working with Pete for a third season?
He’s like a second dad really. We get on really well and I feel privileged to stay for a third year really and hopefully we have another year or two maybe but we will wait and see. If the opportunities come along then we’ve got to look at the world stage. I’m 24 and just starting my Superbike career so we would like to go there in two or three years but for now our focus is primarily on BSB. The MotoGP thing is a bit of a dream. You’ll never get Movistar Yamaha and you’ll never get a Repsol Honda. It’s great to say you race in MotoGP but I wouldn’t go there to finish 15th on a satellite Ducati because it doesn’t mean anything to me. I would rather stay in Britain and win races.
Can you win the championship in 2017?
Yeh for sure. We’ve got the bike, we’ve got the team and if we don’t win it then it won’t be through lack of trying. I’ve put my heart and soul into it and it’s a very tough championship – one of the toughest in the world and the goal is always to be in the top three but we are going for the title this season.
Would you consider road racing, seeing as this team has road racing pedigree?
I have absolutely no intentions in doing road racing whatsoever. Unless they paid a million pounds for it but I think that’s the end of that! I scare myself enough on the short circuits so the TT is not really in my mind. I think it is amazing what those riders do but it really doesn’t appeal to me.
Kiko Giles @MotoGPKiko