REIGNING Thundersport GB Stocktwins champ Steve Taylor is preparing for a new challenge this season as he steps up to big bike power.
With the 2018 title to his name, Taylor has ditched the twins and will instead pilot a Phil Crowe-built Suzuki GSX-R1000 in the GP1 Sportsman series.
Taylor, who began racing with Darley Moor in 2015, teamed up with Murdo Sykes to form the STR Racing Team #2 squad a year later, fielding a Suzuki SV650 in the club’s Mini Sound of Thunder class.
After finishing third in the points, they headed off to Thundersport GB in 2017 to contest the Stocktwins series, but a bad crash at Donington Park forced him to miss the following round at Snetterton and he spent the rest of the year playing catch-up, eventually finishing fourth in the championship.
But last year he was keen to make amends, and after a win in the opening round went on to score a string of podiums across the season to lift the title at the final round in October.
And now he’s set for something completely different, as he takes the bold step of moving from a stocktwin straight to 1000cc power.
“I decided to do it this year because I really wanted a new challenge,” he told UK Clubsport.
“I know that switching from a Stocktwin to the GP1 class is a huge jump, but I know I’m ready to make it.
“I feel I’m better suited to a more powerful machine, but I’m aware that this year will more of a learning year. However, I’ll still be pushing hard and I am confident I can get up into the top five at certain tracks.”
So what about the Stocktwin? Murdo revealed that it’s going nowhere. “We’ve a big year ahead with a big move, it’s a brilliant opportunity but the SV650 won’t be sold or retired.
“We plan to keep it and run it at selected club races across the year, subject to time and funds.”
Taylor and the team will head to Almeria in early March for four days of testing ahead of the first round at Brands Hatch.