1.How do you feel the 2016 season went for you do you feel your starting to get to grips with the Superbike ?
The 2016 season started off well with a 7th and 8th at Round 1 but unfortunately are the season unfolded a little bit of incositence came which wasn’t really like me and this didn’t help towards my season ending position.
After finishing the 2016 season, I felt like I had grew as a rider and started to understand more about the Superbike which is good for the future as now I have moved to a new team for 2017 and I have left my old mechanics and team behind so for me this 2017 season will be all new and again I have a lot to learn and hopefully do a better job than in 2016 and be more consistent.
2.Pre-season is over now how do you feel it went and how does the Smiths team differ from the Buildbase squad ?
For me the pre-season has definitely been different, In the Buildbase squad I went away testing with my Dad who worked in the team also and my Uncle who was my Crew chief so for me to go into a new team alone was a new experience for me which was very good as it was time for me to move on and learn without them around but also it took some time adapting to the new surroundings but after the first two days of pre-season all that went away which was good and as a team we have all got on really well.
Obviously each team work different so again getting to work in a different way was also good and hopefully with me having now got something to reference back too I hope we can put them into consideration and produce the best outcome for myself and achieve the best results.
3.You are staying with the same machinery for this season do you think this will give you and advantage especially early on in the season ?
Although the bike is a BMW the bike is very different to my previous BMW which I raced last season, so getting on it in the pre season test did not feel like a BMW because of the differences. My new bikes has many differences which include: Suspension (First time for myself changing over from Bitubo to Ohlins as that’s all I’ve ever used) different swing arm, Engine, Seating Position and many other things.
So if I can get the base setting where I want it to be hopefully we can have something which will feel more familiar to me and hopefully this will become an advantage to me.
4.Peter Hickman is your team-mate this season and he is well known for his road racing as well as on the track is road racing something you might like to try? Will you be coming over to watch Peter at the NW200 or TT this year ?
Yes Pete does the Road racing and for me Riding / racing the roads doesn’t appeal to me, I get more of a buzz standing ‘Track / Road’ side as they fly past than actually thinking about doing it. I will be definitely going over to the Isle of Man TT to watch, I will be there in Race week so I can’t wait to watch them boys, especially Pete fly by.
5.Do you have a particular track you enjoy racing at ?
For me I love all the fast and flowing tracks, Silverstone, Thruxton, Brands Hatch GP, Oulton Park, Snetterton, but If I’m honest I like them all but with one track being my least favorite… The Brands Hatch Indy track isn’t the most enjoyable track for me because it’s so small and not much too it.
6.What rider did you follow growing up ?
As I was growing up I always followed Valentino Rossi, he is a class act, 9 times a World Champion and comes across the best in the media interviews but for me as a young child he is the one that stood out having the bright colour’s, the big 46 and always having them 1 off colour scheme’s which was so good to see.
7.What would make for a successful season for you ?
For me to have a successful season I need to be more consistent at each round but also I need to get my first British Superbike Podium / or Win and I’d love to go for more front row starts, and be inside the top 6 come the end of the season and fighting for the Championship as that’s been my aim since I was a young Child!
Thanks for your time,
I would like to say big thanks to Lee for taking time out of preparing for the season to answer my question and wish him the best of luck for the upcoming season.
Also as always want to thank Sam Scott (@SamScott2271) and @photography_rjd for the photos. Make sure to follow me on twitter @weephil56 for more BSB and WSBK content through the season, We will also be covering Moto GP on the blog give @LiamIsNotDead a follow for all of that.