In keeping with official Kawasaki status, the ZX-10R Superbikes will carry the distinctive Kawasaki green along with the white, red and blue of new title sponsors JG Speedfit.
Speaking ahead of his second season with the GBmoto Racing team, James Ellison said, “Looking at the bike it looks stunning, I didn’t want to see the livery before the launch so my first time was with everyone else! The injury is doing much better and I’m almost back to full fitness, so I can’t wait to get back out on the bike. The team are working hard on improving it, giving us some more speed and making the bike lighter – with a season of knowledge behind us, we’re in a really good place already so we’ll be going for the team’s first win from race one.
Sarah and Ryder are over in the States already, so I’m really looking forward to heading over there next week and seeing them both again. I’ll be there for about three months and it’s a great chance to take full advantage of the better weather and getting out on the MX bikes - I’ll try and get to Colin Edwards Boot Camp again as well. Then when we return to the UK, 2015 will start in earnest when we head out testing.”
JG Speedfit Kawasaki Team Principal Mark Smith-Halvorsen said, “It’s certainly been an incredible journey over the past twelve months for GBmoto Racing. When we announced the team here at Motorcycle Live last year, we knew that our first year with Kawasaki would yield results but to the legions of knowledgeable fans, we were still very much the ‘new guys’ stepping up. Having secured thirteen podiums in our first year, we now return as genuine title contenders and we’re incredibly proud to be doing that with JG Speedfit. The bikes look fantastic in their 2015 livery and have been incredibly well received among fans too!
We are once again enjoying extensive backing from Global Reach Partners and McAMS for 2015 and the entire team are currently working very hard to further improve our ZX-10R package.”
Later in the week – on the final Saturday of Motorcycle Live – the GBmoto Racing prepared JG Speedfit Kawasaki team announced that they have signed former BSB Showdown star James Westmoreland to partner James Ellison in the 2015 MCE British Superbike Championship.
A highly popular figure in the paddock ‘Westy’, as he is known to fans, has enjoyed a successful career to date as he worked his way through the British Championships. Twice runner up in the competitive British 125GP field, he moved into Supersport in 2007, where he claimed the Cup Championship in his debut season. A move into the main class for 2008, saw him spend several seasons running at the front, taking fourteen podiums and four wins with a best Championship standing of second.
Stepping up into the blue riband British Superbike Championship in 2011, Westy secured the Riders Cup in 2012 before making the Showdown in 2013, picking up his and BMW’s debut pole position in the class at Donington Park on his way to fifth in the standings. An injury wrecked 2014 halted the Yorkshire rider’s ascendancy however, now fully recovered, and with an extensive testing programme planned, the team and James are focused on securing a Showdown return.
Speaking on his signing with the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team, James Westmoreland said, “I’m delighted to be joining JG Speedfit Kawasaki, I’ve known Mark quite a while and I believe they are one of the very best teams in the paddock. They have the package I need to challenge right at the front, and when I say that I mean the whole package, not just the bike but testing, the technicians, set-up….everything! This year has been tough and I’m aiming to get my enjoyment back and of course enjoy some top results.
I worked really well with Roger when I was at WFR, we had a great year, so it’s important for me to have a good crew chief who I know well. The team obviously has a full development year under their belt too, so I know this is a bike that can win races. I'm now really looking forward to my first test on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki and am counting down the days!”
JG Speedfit Kawasaki Team Principal Mark Smith-Halvorsen said, “Everyone at GBmoto is really excited to welcome Westy to the team. He’s a rider who made an impact in BSB almost straight away by winning the Riders Cup before qualifying for the Showdown in 2013. A difficult 2014 with his injury meant we didn’t get to see the real James Westmoreland but I genuinely believe he’s a Showdown contender and will be looking to give him the tools he needs in terms of machinery, testing and support to fulfil his true potential.
I can see a good balance and positive working relationship being formed between Mr. Ellison and Mr. Westmoreland, which will make the job of having two James’ in the team even more difficult! They are similar in weight and height and also riding style, so this can only help us to achieve overall development of our package, whilst we will also be looking to tailor our 2015 Superbikes to suit each of them too. Having a happy and motivated garage environment, helps massively in terms of results and I’m positive next year GBmoto will be enjoying even more podium success.”