Blog: Bennetts Suzuki aiming to be Showdown Spoilers

Martin Halsall

Martin Halsall reflects on the disappointment of missing out on the BSB Showdown, but how the team is geared up for a strong end to the season and aims to cause an upset at the front in the remaining rounds.

"We’re all disappointed to have missed out on the Showdown this year, even more so when you look at our form in the second half of the season. You could quite rightly argue that we deserved to be in there. Tommy’s been riding exceptionally well lately and we’ve got the bike working well underneath him. We’ve been on the podium but we've also been unlucky not to have had more top-three finishes at places like Brands Hatch and Cadwell Park.

Unfortunately, we had a bit of a slow start to the year, and that, coupled with some bad luck, has cost us. But, just because we’ve missed out on the Showdown this year, it doesn’t mean our season is over. Everyone in the team is now determined to get as many podiums as possible, and get in amongst the title fighters and have a say in where the 2016 championship ends up. We don’t now sit back and let them race it out, our job is to get stuck in mix it up as much as possible.

Donington Park was the first opportunity to do that, and we set some exceptionally fast lap times over the weekend. But we that bad luck that we’ve been suffering from reared its head again, and we had an engine problem in race one. Tommy was struggling all weekend too with the after-effects of his crash at Oulton Park. He put a brave face on it, but he was hurting and not able to ride at 100%. However, sixth place in race two, when he was in the pain he was in and the fact we missed a chance to fine tune the bike in race one, is a good result. And we’ve now got some time before Assen where he can rest, get some physio, and get himself fit. At Assen we are looking to get back onto that podium, and there’s no reason we can’t do it.

With the season starting to draw to a close, however, I’ve also started to turn my attentions to 2017. I have a few decisions to make for the team. We’ve had two years with the Suzuki now, and proved that we, as a team, have the capability and credentials needed to get it working at its very best. But we’ll be looking for a new challenge and a new manufacturer in 2017.

I’m also on the lookout for another rider, too. We have the infrastructure in place to run two riders in the team, we have the people and the support in place, so hopefully we can have some conversations with people in the coming weeks and have everything sorted in good time for the 2017 season."