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Successful weekend for TAG Racing

It was a solid and successful weekend at the 2021 Bennetts British Superbike Championship finale at Brands Hatch, with new signing Luke Mossey taking pole position in tricky damp conditions on Saturday, and collected points in two out of the three races across the weekend with the Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP. Shaun Winfield also had a great weekend, achieving his best qualifying of the year and finishing Sunday’s race in 21st after a fantastic race long battle.
The weekend got off to a strong start for both Mossey and Winfield who enjoyed a solid day’s work on Friday, with Luke getting to grips with his new machine, positing a 1:26.749, finishing the sessions 17th on combined times meaning he would take part in Q1.Saturday morning’s Pirelli National Superstock qualifying would see Shaun post a time strong enough to line him up 13th on the grid, after making the correct call to pit for dry tyres with just five minutes to go after a tricky damp 15 minutes. It would mean he would start Sunday’s race from his best qualifying position of the year. 

The two-tier Bennetts BSB SUPERPICKS qualifying saw Luke achieve his first pole position since 2017, and the team’s first since 2018, in a what was again a damp and tricky session. He progressed through to Q2 as the fastest man, and in the second session grabbed pole position by three tenths of a second, after electing to run the harder option wet rear tyre.

From the lights on Saturday afternoon Luke made a solid start to the dry opening race, however he was beaten up in the opening sequence of corners, dropping back to 13th at the end of lap one. He then began to battle with Bradley Ray and Kyle Ryde, with the team’s debutant posting consistent times lap times.

Half-race distance saw the safety car deployed which bunched the field back up, a handful of laps later the race restarted at full pace, with the ‘Skywalker’ pushing hard to battle his way into the points. On the final lap he forced his way past Storm Stacey and held the Kawasaki man off to the line, taking 15th and his first point with the team.

By virtue of his lap time achieved in Saturday’s opening encounter Luke would start Sunday’s second race from 17th on the grid.

As the lights went out Mossey made a good leap with his Fireblade, holding his starting position after the opening lap and sat on the back of the leading group. He quickly settled into his rhythm, posting his best lap of the weekend in the process, a 1:26.4 as he hunted down Stacey and Joe Francis who laid ahead.

The Royston man continued to consistently post strong lap times and by half race distance made his way past Stacey, grabbing 13th place. Luke then once again kept consistent with his lap times and pulled a gap on the man behind, taking the flag in 13th.

For the third and final Bennetts BSB encounter of 2021, by virtue of his lap time set in race two he would start from 17th once again.

Once again Luke made a good start but as the pack entered Graham Hill Bend he was sat up and pushed wide on to the rumble strips, forcing him to drop back to 25th after the opening lap.

He was then a man on a mission, making his way up in to 22nd by the eighth lap of 20, chasing down Leon Jeacock, Joe Sheldon-Shaw and a host of other riders. ‘Skywalker’ then found himself on the back of Jeacock at half race distance, and soon made a pass and went in pursuit of the group ahead.

Mossey continued to pick his way through the field, and with five laps to go found himself in 18th, hunting down Dean Harrison who laid three seconds ahead. But unfortunately he couldn’t find a way past, and after two riders crashed out on the final lap, Luke crossed the line in 16th.

Sunday’s National Superstock race saw Shaun make a tough start from the lights and dropped back to 16th after the opening lap, battling with Brent Harran and Tom Neave. By lap four he’d dropped back behind Neave, but he had posted his fastest lap of the weekend in the process, a 1:28.8.

He soon became embroiled in a battle with fellow Honda man Richard Kerr, swapping places on half race distance, with Davey Todd joining the pack. The battle quickly heated up with Shaun holding 20th, but with two laps to go he lost out in a tussle with Beech and Cummins, taking the flag in 21st.

Luke Mossey: I’m really pleased with how this weekend has gone, obviously it’s been my first time out on the bike and I really enjoyed it. The Fireblade has so much potential, I’m very impressed with how the bike feels in wet and dry conditions, but now the real work starts for us.

“It was nice to be back on pole and being a Superbike race, I’d forgotten how tough some of these boys are and next year I’ll certainly make it difficult for them. To get points in two races was good and the racer in me wants more, but I know that will come.

“I’m excited for next season now and what it will bring, we have a lot of work to do but I have a lot of confidence in this package and the team, I have a really good feeling about it. I just want to thank all my sponsors for this year, and next year I will be giving it the best I have.”

Shaun Winfield: “It’s been a strange weekend but an enjoyable one, strange because of the weather but we’ve produced a very solid weekend, so I’m pleased. I said before coming here I wanted to give everyone something to smile about and I think I have, qualifying 13th was fantastic, I think I would have been higher on the grid but we only had enough time to change tyres, so I gritted my teeth and put a solid lap in.

“The race was great, I made a tough start but it was good to get away with people I should be racing with, I’ve learnt a lot from that and I’ll be taking that in to next year for sure. It’s been a tricky season but I’m ready for 2022, I just want to thank everyone involved with me and the team for their support this year.”

Team manager Gary Winfield“It’s been a really good final weekend for us, we’re pleased and we’re heading into 2022 with a lot of confidence now. Luke has impressed us with how he’s performed this weekend, it was great to be on pole and showed what we can do. We’ve not really made a lot of changes, but he’s pleased with how he and the bike has performed. That fills us all with confidence ahead of next year.

“It was great to see Shaun performing how we know he can, we’ve made some good steps forwards with him and the superstock bike this weekend so that stands us well ahead of next year.

“I just want to thank all of our sponsors and partners for sticking by us this year, without their support it would have been very tough but they’ve been fantastic and we can’t wait for 2022 now.