APS are proud to be one of the sponsors for The RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki race team within MCE British Superbike Championship (BSB) throughout the 2017 season which takes place across a range of different tracks around the UK and Europe.
Our logo can be found on the front of the bikes just above the front wheel arch. The team has 2 riders this season, Jake Dixon and Jordan Weaving and is owned and run by Lee Hardy who is based at RAF Marham and has the headquarters in Swaffham, Norfolk.
Last month Jake Dixon confirmed that he will return to the Lee hardy Racing team in 2018, building on an incredible MCE British Superbike Championship campaign this year, securing a position in the Showdown for the first time.
Jake had a taste of Superbike action last year before injury ruled him out of contention, but he remained with the Lee Hardy Racing squad who returned with Kawasaki this year and he was instantly mixing it up with the more established contenders.
The highlight of the season came at Knockhill when Jake claimed a debut race win and then went on to follow it up with a double, before securing his place inside the top six at Silverstone to become the youngest Showdown contender.
Dixon said: “It’s brilliant for me to sign again with the team for next year. I had a few offers for next season but as a team we have a great relationship and it has worked so well this year that I didn’t want to change that. I feel that whatever happens this year, we can go into the first round in 2018 ready to fight for the wins from the start, and that is exciting because we will start in a really good position.”
Lee Hardy commented: “I’m delighted to retain Jake for the 2018 season and this has been my aim from around the midpoint of this year. We are now in a good position with sponsors ahead of the 2018 season and all of our partners are very pleased to have Jake on board again after an incredible year so far.”
The final round of the MCE British Superbike Championship 2017 season took place between Friday 13 – Sunday 15 October 2017 at Brands Hatch, Kent. It proved to be a challenging weekend for Jake Dixon and the team with just a solitary 12th place finish in the three races at Brands Hatch to show for their efforts.
The weekend started strongly for the 21-year old as he posted the second fastest time in Friday’s opening free practice session but a heavy, high-speed crash at Hawthorn later that afternoon put both rider and team on the back foot. With the Kawasaki ZX-10R rebuilt for Saturday, Jake posted the eighth fastest time in qualifying to line up in the middle of the third row for that afternoon’s race.
However, his race was only three laps old when he crashed out at Clearways, after water leaked from another rider’s machine caused no less than five riders, including Jake, to go down. With considerable damage to the bike once more and a quick restart, there wasn’t time for the team to make the necessary repairs and the 21-year old was a reluctant non-starter.
As a result, he was forced to start Sunday’s first 20-lap race from 22nd on the grid and although he managed to work his way up to 16th, he was forced to retire from the race just after half distance. That just left one race to go with the Ashby resident lining up on this occasion in 14th and in the middle of the fifth row.
He held station in 14th for the first five laps before jumping up to 11th on lap six and it looked like this was would be where he finished his 2017 season but former World Superbike Champion Sylvain Guintoli got the better of him in the closing stages to leave him in 12th place at the chequered flag.
Nevertheless, he finished the season, his first full year in the BSB class, in an excellent sixth place overall, the undoubted highlights being his double victory at Knockhill and further podiums at Thruxton, Cadwell Park and Silverstone.
Team-mate Jordan Weaving was also having his final outing of the year in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship race where he qualified in 16th place on the Briggs Equipment Kawasaki. Completing the first lap in a fine tenth place, Adam Jenkinson pushed him back a spot on lap six but with some consistent laps, he successfully held onto 11th to pick up five more points with the result seeing him complete his maiden year in the class in an excellent 12th overall.
Jake Dixon: “From a weekend that started so brightly, it’s turned out to be the opposite and not how I wanted to end the season at all! Everything was looking really good on Friday when I was second quickest in FP1 and running in the same position in FP2 up until I crashed. It wrecked the bike and left me feeling very sore and from that moment on it was a rollercoaster ride. The team did a great job, as they have all year, in preparing the bike for qualifying and the first race but I was down before I knew it again when Dan’s bike spilled water onto the track.”
“The bike took another beating and nothing was going right for us but we regrouped for Sunday only for a vibration in the first race to hold me back. It wasn’t ideal but the boys did everything to get me back out and although I got a finish of 12th in the final race of the year, I wasn’t able to show what I could do so it’s a real shame our year ended in this fashion. Like I say, it’s not the way we wanted to end our season but we’ve shown what we can do this year and we’re going to come back in 2018 and firmly challenge for the title.”
Lee Hardy, Team Owner: “It’s been a very tough weekend and the crash on Friday really put us on the back foot. Up until then, the bike was working well and Jake was setting some very good lap times but he lost the front at 155mph and it was a big, expensive crash. We had to replace practically everything but he qualified in the top ten only to be an innocent victim of a problem with Dan Linfoot’s bike. It meant another rebuild and although the bike was built to the same specification as before any rider will tell you it never feels exactly the same.”
“Jake was obviously sore after two big crashes but he soldiered on and whilst we may not have got the results we’d hoped for this weekend, if anyone had said to me at the beginning of the year that Jake would finish in the top six, I’d have taken it. He’s put in a mega season in his first full year and has probably over-achieved so we’re looking forward now to a strong winter with a view to fighting for the Championship throughout 2018.”
“Jordan had a strong end to his year and with a few, small changes to the team set-up, he fought back well after qualifying and only just missed out on another top ten result. He too has had an excellent first year in his respective class so now it’s a case of pressing on and pushing for the top six next year. Thanks to all the sponsors for being behind us all the way and helping us achieve what we’ve achieved.”
Final MCE British Superbike Championship Standings (after 12 rounds)
1 Shane Byrne (Ducati) 637pts
2 Josh Brookes (Yamaha) 634
3 Leon Haslam (Kawasaki) 631
4 Peter Hickman (BMW) 578
5 Jason O’Halloran (Honda) 567
6 Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki) 562
Final Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship Standings (after 12 rounds)
1 Danny Buchan (Kawasaki) 362pts
2 Richard Cooper (Suzuki) 352
3 Michael Rutter (BMW) 225
4 Chrissy Rouse (BMW) 206.5
5 Adam Jenkinson (BMW) 146.5
6 Mason Law (Kawasaki) 144
12 Jordan Weaving (Briggs Equipment Kawasaki) 80