sport

Backford Bullet Joe Francis targeting championship glory

Teenage rider will again compete in British Supersport Championship after signing with Halsall Racing

Joe Francis has signed up to race with Movuno.com Halsall Racing in the British Supersport Championship this season. He is pictured with team boss Martin Halsall

Backford teenager Joe Francis will be back in the saddle after signing a deal to race in the Dickies British Supersport Championship once more.

Francis, 19, made his series debut in last year’s competition and will return for the 2017 campaign after signing with Movuno.com Halsall Racing, where he will be riding a Yamaha R6.

Chester-born Francis spent two years riding in the Superstock 600 prior to his Supersport debut last year where he ended the season in seventh overall despite a campaign that saw him miss two rounds after breaking a wrist at Silverstone early on.

The teenager bounced back and celebrated a win and countless podiums toward the end of the season to finish strongly and he has been rewarded for his efforts with a spot on the Halsall team, owned by entrepreneur Martin Halsall.

Francis said: “I spoke to Martin to see if he’d be interested in running the Yamaha in Supersport, and he got back the next day and said it was happening. It all came about every quickly.

“It’s fantastic to finally have something sorted; especially with Martin because he runs a slick, professional team and as everyone knows, his bikes are perfectly prepared and want for nothing.

“I want to try and get as many high points finishes in the first races as possible and then work towards getting the wins in by about the third round.

Joe Francis in action at Brands Hatch(Image: Kevin Hughes)

“There’s no reason we can’t win this year and I’m extremely grateful to Martin for giving me this opportunity.”

Team owner Halsall was delighted to have secured the services of the ‘Backford Bullet’ and believes that a championship win is on the horizon for the starlet.

“I’m thrilled to be announcing that Joe is going to be riding for us,” said Halsall.

“We’ve had a busy winter making plans, and even though we left the BSB series last year, we wanted to still be involved.

“I wasn’t sure what we were going to be doing next, but when Joe got in touch it seemed the perfect solution. Joe is a very talented rider and he’s also a great lad.

“He’s proved he can win races and I am certain he can win the championship. I’m looking forward to coming back to the British paddock and working with Joe, and I believe we can have a strong, successful year together.”

The opening round of the 2017 Dickies British Supersport Championship begins this weekend at Donington Park, Derbyshire, supporting the MCE Insurance British Superbikes Championship.

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