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Final British Superbike Championship round marks end of an era for the Swaffham-based RAF Regular and Reserve Kawasaki squad



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The final round of the British Superbike Championship season was the end of an era for the Swaffham-based RAF Regular and Reserve Kawasaki squad.

That’s because the weekend meeting at Brands Hatch marked the end of the RAF’s nine-year association with the team as its title sponsor.

And boss Lee Hardy paid particular tribute to the RAF’s contribution to the team’s successes down the years.

2021 British Superbike Championship, BSB R09 Oulton Park, Cheshire. 24th September Ryan Vickers, Great Britain, RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki (51729939)
2021 British Superbike Championship, BSB R09 Oulton Park, Cheshire. 24th September Ryan Vickers, Great Britain, RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki (51729939)

He said: “Without them, the opportunities that have arisen and the results that we’ve achieved, including second overall with Jake Dixon in 2018, would never have been possible.”

On the track, there was no podium for the team to mark the closing of the RAF chapter, though there were encouraging signs for the long winter ahead.

Many of them came from the performance of Lewis Rollo, who was thrilled to sign off his year in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 category by climbing from his 11th place in qualifying to finish fourth.

He said: “It was a mega race and mega to end the season with such a strong ride; it was probably my best race of the season.”

The result meant the Scotsman finished eighth in the final standings, and he is already looking forward to next year.

He said: “It’s been a good year albeit a hard year with a few ups and downs but I can’t thank the team enough. Today showed what we can do both on a personal level and team perspective so roll on 2022!”

It was a more challenging weekend for Rollo’s team-mate, Ryan Vickers in the Superbike class although his seventh place in qualifying again demonstrated his ability in changeable weather conditions.

But dry conditions proved more challenging, although a 12th placed finish in the final race cemented the same position in the final championship standings.

He said: “Twelth isn’t where I want to finish but it was a really enjoyable race and it was nice to end the season on a positive note as enjoyment is what we do it for.

“I can’t thank Lee and the team enough for all their hard work and support, and they’ve been amazing to work with.”

The 2022 season is due to begin on the Silverstone National circuit over the Easter weekend of April 15-17, with 11 rounds scheduled between then and October as the championship returns to a more regular calendar following two years disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

West Norfolk-based bike fans can expect to see a crucial meeting on their local track at Snetterton in early September, as it will be the last before the end of season Showdown title contenders are confirmed.

The first of three pre-season test events is also due to take place at Snetterton in late March.



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