Tim Neave will join the growing number of rookies in the 2023 Bennetts British Superbike Championship after signing a deal to progress into the premier class with McAMS Yamaha.
The former flat-track ace impressed in 2022 with a stunning start to the National Superstock Championship aboard the team’s stock R1 in Edwards 1902 colours, taking Yamaha’s first victory in the 1000cc Superstock class in over a decade. Three wins at the beginning of the year saw Neave amass a healthy championship lead, until a freak accident while testing at Knockhill saw him suffer a badly broken pelvis which would rule him out of the title fight. Despite the huge injury, he still managed to return to the podium before the year was out with a third place at Snetterton.
Neave made his Superbike debut with a one-off appearance with the Buildbase Suzuki squad at Cadwell Park in 2021, where he showed promise by scoring points in all three races with no prior track time, but 2023 will mark the Lincolnshire rider’s first full-time campaign in the Superbike class as he joins the official Yamaha Motor UK outfit.
The 27-year-old will get his first taste of the McAMS Yamaha R1 Superbike in a private test in Spain later this month.
The news marks the first time the Raceways Motorcycles-run McAMS Yamaha team have fielded a new rider line-up since 2019. Newbie Neave lines-up alongside the experienced Jason O’Halloran, who heads into his fifth season with McAMS Yamaha having won more races than any other rider in the last three years.
“To get the call up to ride for McAMS Yamaha is a dream come true. When I signed to ride for the team last year, in the back of my mind I was thinking if I could do a really good job on the Superstock bike and a seat became available, it would be the dream but I didn’t think it would actually happen! Raceways are one of, if not the best teams in the paddock – they’ve certainly won more races than anyone else in recent years so I can’t think of a better team to step up into BSB with. I loved riding the R1 Superstock bike, it really suited me as a rider and from what Jason has told me, the Superbike has similar characteristics so I’m looking forward to getting out on it for the first time. BSB is one of the toughest classes in racing, but I’ll give it my everything to make sure this opportunity isn’t wasted on me.”
“When Tim joined the team to race the Superstock bike in 2022 we were all really impressed by him. Not only was he super quick straightaway, but his attitude and the way he went about things meant that he fit in to the team immediately. There’s no doubt had the Knockhill accident, which wasn’t his fault, not occurred, he’d have continued to fight for the Superstock title. When he was fit, he was super-fast on the R1 and the Superstock bike has a lot of similarities to the Superbike, including the fact that we couldn’t run any traction control on the stocker, so the jump isn’t as big as it is with some other manufacturers. There’s still a lot to learn, but we are confident he’ll pick it up and look forward to seeing what he can achieve.”