Team boss Keith Flint’s review of Team Traction Control’s debut season
The season has ended on a high. James Rispoli had two podiums in the last three races, adding to Steve Mercer’s early one, and looking back over the season to where we were in the championship leaves me with nothing but immense pride for the team.
James fighting for that second place in Assen was a proper sporting moment and I’ve never enjoyed racing as much as that.
There have been a lot of highs over our debut season. Seeing the bikes for the first time. Watching Steve get that first podium at Brands Hatch back in April – I’ve got a lot of love for him for that. But top of the list has to be Cadwell – that is a real ballsy track and for James to do the moves he was doing showed he was properly world class.
James showed it again when we switched bikes to Yamaha halfway through, it’s a hard ask of any rider to do that and set up a bike from scratch, especially as we only had the races to do it. But he’s a dedicated professional and works his ass off.
And, while being very different, Steve’s the same. Steve is a pure punk-rock, no-compromise rider. He doesn’t want to be mainstream, he just wants to win TTs. It’s why I love him.
Both came into a rookie team and stepped up to the challenge.
One of the maddest things I’ve seen this year is the first TTC logo tattoo. You’ve gotta love that.
It made me realise just how brilliant our fans our and how much we need to give back. I’m a fan of racing, it’s why I’m doing this, and the best teams – whether it’s football, F1, whatever – give as much back to the fans and without them we’re nothing. It’s why we look to partner with companies like Monster that are like minded people.
This time last year we were still setting up, so we’re well ahead of that. The team has also really gelled and there were many moments at the sharp end of racing where this was essential, so giving a good marker for next year.
The team is now putting in the work that will help us win races – the tuning, the testing, the development.
Next year we’re going to have two riders racing in Supersport and there’s lots to look forward to. I can’t wait for the first race of the season – Donington in early April – which will let us see our development. But Cadwell and Assen are going to be the big ones.
What’s possible? We’re aiming to battle for the championship. I’m not willing to settle and I want to win – and that’s a fact!
See you next season – Keith