New Zealand rider Shane Richardson admits he could not achieve the goals he chalked out for himself ahead of his first season in the British Super Bikes National Superstock 1000 Series.
In 2019, Richardson had a remarkable maiden season on the BSB scene. The Wellingtonian came oh-so-close to clinching the British Superstock 600 Series, only missing out on the title in a last race showdown.
His run that season had Richardson placed as a favourite for success in the British Superstock 1000 class.
The Superstock 1000 acts as a precursor to the British Superbike Championship, which is often heralded as the world’s premier domestic production bike series.
However, a nasty accident in pre-season testing set up a tumultuous opening leg to his 2020 season.
“2020 definitely had its struggles,” Richardson told Velocity News.
“Our season didn’t begin until August due to Covid, which meant it was a long offseason. My last race before that was at the start of December in NZ.
“The year started on the wrong foot, having a decent crash at the pre-season test, cutting my day short.
“From that stemmed bike troubles across the opening couple of rounds which took away even more crucial time to be getting back in the swing of things and learning the new bike without trouble.”
Eventually, Richardson and the JJR Astro Racing team overcame their technical issues, and soon the Kiwi was reeling in competitive results.
However, his troubled start to the campaign meant he spent the rest of the season playing catch-up, and he would only finish 16th in the championship.
Still, Richardson says there were plenty of valuable lessons learnt from his difficult season that will be worthy for the start of 2021.
“Once the team ironed out the gremlins, I was then able to focus on what I needed to do and change,” he said.
“I think my inexperience on a 1000cc bike showed through a bit in such a competitive class.
“I never met any of my expectations over the short season. But I have taken the positives and soaked up as much knowledge as I could.
“Now I am looking forward to getting back on the bike with some proper pre-season testing to be a lot more prepared coming into the first round.
“The good news is that I am remaining with the same team – Astro JJR Racing – aboard a similar BMW S1000rr machine. So, we will continue to build on everything we gained in 2020 and work toward riding like I know I can.”
Richardson has chosen to remain in the UK between seasons but says he is saddened to be missing the New Zealand summer.
He will be one of two New Zealanders on the Superstock 1000 grid this year. His teammate from last season Damon Rees will be riding for Ashcourt Racing in the 11-round season.
Winter testing gets underway over Easter weekend in April before the first round at Oulton Park over May 1-3.