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BSB Brands finale: Rouse turns early-season setback into Stock 1000 crown

When Chrissy Rouse’s MSS Kawasaki team pulled out of this year’s Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it looked like the Newcastle teacher would be watching the racing from his sofa.

But he ended up walking away from the final round at Brands Hatch as the champion.
Fellow racer Phil Crowe stepped in just ahead of the opening round at Donington Park in August with 25-year old Rouse lining up on a BMW in the blue and orange colours of Crowe Performance, going on to enjoy a season long battle with Tom Neave which finally ended when the Honda Racing rider crashed out on the opening lap of Sunday’s race.
“I’m naturally over the moon to have won the title. That was the target when I signed for Kawasaki at the NEC last year and although the year didn’t pan out as planned off track, it did on the track," Rouse told Bikesport News.
“The delay to the season also helped me as I had to have a shoulder operation in March and with no racing, I was able to recover and be fully fit for the first round in August. I was able to hire the bike off Phil and had a small team of volunteers helping each weekend whilst I also learnt a lot myself.
“I did a lot of stuff this year with the electronics, looking at the data and the set-up and also did a lot of work with my coach Alan Carter (former 250cc GP winner) in terms of my approach to my racing. We addressed my weak areas which paid dividends.”
Rouse and Neave had sat at the top of the championship standings right from the word go, leaving Donington tied at the top of the table on 36 points and it was the Oulton Park round that proved pivotal, Neave only managing a brace of tenths whilst Rouse took first and second – part of a six race run of finishing in the top two positions – to seize control.

I always had outright speed but was a bit rough around the edges but I’ve polished those edges these last 18 months and consistency was a big thing for me this year.

"I was the only rider to finish in the points in every race and the second meeting at Donington was my only ‘bad’ weekend. But I still took a fourth and a fifth.


“I had a bit of luck in terms of a few small mechanical issues happening at the right times but you need a bit of luck to win a championship.”
Neave won at Donington but Rouse still arrived at Brands with a ten-point advantage and the Honda rider's crash meant he was crowned champion there and then. As he had done all year though, he went all out for the win, battling with eventual winner Danny Kent and Dan Linfoot all the way to the chequered flag, eventually finishing third for his seventh rostrum visit in the ten races to take place. He now hopes to move into the BSB class next year.
‘My main goal now is to get a competitive ride in BSB for 2021. I feel like I’ve done my apprenticeship in the Superstock class now and although I’ve nothing agreed, I feel ready now to have a full crack at the Superbike class so will be working hard over the next few weeks to make that a reality.”

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