Blog: Bennetts Suzuki team boss talks Sheene tribute and Brands Hatch

"We went into the weekend at Brands Hatch off the back of a positive Thruxton. Thruxton is a difficult circuit to set a bike up for. It's hard on tyres, and it's very fast. But we had some strong results from Tommy, which, after some tough rounds early in the season, put us right in the hunt for the Showdown again.

This weekend at Brands, on the one hand, was really special. Obviously this year marks the 40th anniversary of Barry Sheene's first world title, which he won with Suzuki. Like so many motorcyclists and bike racing fans, I remember watching him race, and he was my hero throughout the 70s. And because of the poignant year, I really wanted to do something so that I, and also the Bennetts Suzuki team as Suzuki GB's official team, could celebrate his achievements.

The livery of those 70s' Heron Suzukis is iconic, so we dressed our GSX-R1000s in similar livery, while Suzuki GB supplied both of Sheene's championship-winning bikes to display at Brands Hatch over the weekend. So it was a really good celebration of arguably Britain's greatest world champion. And to see your bikes roll down pitlane in the same colours you watched Suzuki race in was really special. 

On the race track, our weekend started well, too. Tommy was consistently fast in practice. He then went on to qualify on the front row of the grid, which put him in a position to have a real go in the races. He was also fastest in warm up on Sunday, too. 

It's always great to see the Bennetts-branded Suzuki up the front, but to see it leading a race in those iconic colours was just fantastic. It's such a shame a crash on the last lap cost us an almost certain podium.

Tommy was looking threatening again in race two, but unfortunately an issue with the front brake forced him to retire, and after all the hard work we left without a point. It was a real shame because we were so strong, but it also really hurt our chances of a Showdown spot, as time is now getting away from us. 

But we'll keep plugging away. The potential is there, that's clear, we've just got to keep our heads down, keep working hard, and won't stop chasing a spot in the Showdown while it's a possibility."