Having been at the forefront of UK off-road motorcycle sport for over seven years and nearly five full seasons as the official Kawasaki Motors UK Motocross team, Maxxis Kawasaki by LPE have decided that 2013 will be their last season in their current form.
Taking a step back and reflecting on what their individual and collective involvement might be in season’s to come, the highly regarded and popular Lincolnshire based team can take pride in achievements that include helping Ryan Voase win both the British Hare Scrambles
Championship & the Fast Eddy UK XC Championship in 2005, winning the last ever ACU British Open Championship with Kristian Whatley in 2009, winning the Maxxis ACU British Veterans Motocross Championship with Rob Herring in 2010.
In the same year, Connor Walkley won both the BYMX & MXY2 Titles and, in 2011, the team won both the Scottish Championship and British Masters Championship in MX2 with Bryan Mackenzie , winning the superclass Championship and back to back AMCA and IMBA MX2 Championships with Lee Dunham then, the following year, the AMCA Brit MX1 Championship; an historic achievement that, so far, no other rider has matched.
James and his crew have also come very close to winning the British Supercross title with Ryan Voase, Adam Chatfield and Ashley Greedy plus the Arenacross in 2013 with Jack Brunell
Their 2011 season was of particular note with Bryan Mackenzie and Gert Krestinov both finishing top three in the Red Bull pro Nationals and top five in the Maxxis British Championship in MX2 and MX1 respectively.
Of course, as Steve reflects, none of the success would have been possible without loyal fans trackside and a raft of long term sponsor partners, team members helpers and family that have helped create a formidable competitive atmosphere in which successive riders flourished.
“Our own input and commitment in terms of time and money was matched over the years by sponsor partners who not only saw value in being associated with the official Kawasaki squad but, equally, became close friends who endured the rare lows and frequent highs of the sport we all love.
There are so many, but chief among them we have to thank David, Derek, & Don at Maxxis international for their outstanding commitment, Henderson Insurance for their ability to identify what a strong business proposition our team afforded and Trucklinks who, like many other sponsors, worked in such a committed way shoulder to shoulder with us across each successive season. We must also thank Spiral Graphics for keeping the bikes & trucks looking so trick and, lastly, Apico Factory Racing for their massive input and the direct support from Mitch Payton at Pro Circuit USA Naturally, there has to be special praise for Kawasaki in choosing our fledgling team in the first place and seeing our potential to grow into what we are today. I think I can speak on behalf of everyone involved across five years when I say a heartfelt thanks to Kawasaki Motors UK; especially Howard Dale for giving me the initial chance and Ross Burridge for looking after us. Ross has always given us 100% support in every aspect of the team. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with him and the rest of the great people at KMUK. We hope we have repaid their faith in kind.”
Steve reflects that none of the success would have been possible without loyal fans trackside and a raft of long term sponsor partners, Steve’s own Plant Hire Business Links Plant & Equipment Ltd (L.P.E) also his wife for putting up with him & two very special people who are sadly no longer around, his late brother in law, Steve Bright of Truck Links & Tedo (Elvis) the team truck driver.
“There is a massive void and life just isn’t the same without them as they both played a big part in my personal life and that of the team. I’d also like to thank the team mechanics, photographers team members / helpers and the unstinting support of my family that have helped create a formidable competitive atmosphere in which successive riders have flourished.
I’d also like to thank long list of riders – as well as those previously mentioned – such as Alistair Clark, Scott Probert, Jamie Smith, Elliott Banks Browne, Dan Arnold, Lewis Rose, Wayne Smith, Jordan Rose, David Goosen, Ray Rowson, Martin Barr, Gordon Crockard, Steven Clarke, Brian Wheeler and Greg Hansen in the Vets plus current pilots Brad Anderson, Dorren Coutts, Jack Brunell and guest rider James Hutchinson plus my son Ben James and nephew, Tom Bright.
Plus thanks to each & every one of the team’s many loyal sponsors past and present as without them it just wouldn’t have been possible. I’m very appreciative to them all and, in turn, I’ll will contact each one of them the thank them personally. Until the end of the year though I still has a team to run and sponsorship contracts and agreements to honour. So, until then, it is business as usual and we will carry on putting 110 % into the team the riders & sponsors right to the end.
The list of current 2013 Team Sponsors after the main title sponsors mentioned are CGH Imports, CI Sport, Renthal UK, Gaerne, Rip n Roll, Twin Air, DID, Motorex, Vesrah, Pro Carbon, Talon, Raptor, C & D Developments, Fat Cat Moto Parc, DMP, Venhill, Mat Gardner MX, Salters Lane MX Parc, Thorseway MX Parc, CM Engineering, Vertex, Polisport, Answer, Suomy, Boyesen, Race bike bits, Samco hoses, Factory Arme, Planet Mx Suspension, The Desert MX Track, Uden Transport. Naturally, I hope I haven’t forgotten anybody because I value everyone’s contribution large or small”.
For Kawasaki Motors UK, Racing Coordinator, Ross Burridge, reflected on the bitter sweet result of the team’s decision saying:
“I am truly gutted that Steve has taken the decision to step down, but at the same time respect his decision, and applaud his considerable achievements over the past 5 years. It hasn’t been easy in these tough economic times to continually put on an excellent show and maintain his professionalism at all times.
Steve has invested a lot in the team. Both myself, and everyone at Kawasaki appreciates the assets brought to bear. I wish Steve all the best for the future, whatever he decides to do, and hope that we see him in the paddock again very soon.Right now we will evaluate our approach to domestic motocross for the coming season and make any team, rider or strategic announcements a little later in the year. Once thing is certain, we will continue to nurture young talent with the Team Green programme reinstated in the 2013 season, and support other excellent UK teams using Kawasaki machinery”