Jamie Coward and the KTS Racing powered by Steadplan team are all set for their assault on the 2022 International road races with the North West 200 kickstarting proceedings tomorrow.
Formed by Kevin Watret, Tony Morris and Simon Bleasdale in 2015, the combination of the highly professional outfit and Coward enjoyed a successful 2019 season together in the Lightweight class, with second place to Michael Dunlop at the Isle of Man TT the highlight, and have now joined forces to contest all classes.
Reigning TT Privateer’s Champion Coward will campaign a Yamaha YZF-R1, prepared by Raceways Motorcycles, in the Superbike and Superstock classes, Stanley Stewart’s Yamaha YZF-R6 in the Supersport category and will continue with the Kawasaki Z650 in the Supertwins class.
Second to Dunlop by just 1.2s in the aforementioned Lightweight TT Race, the Hebden Bridge rider also enjoyed success elsewhere in the class with second at the North West 200 and third and fourth at the Ulster Grand Prix.
The 31-year old also had a strong year in 2019 on the Yamaha YZF-R1 and YZF-R6 machines for his previous team, becoming the fastest man ever around the TT Mountain Course on a Yamaha with a lap of 130.317mph during the Senior race where he finished eighth.
He also took a superb fifth place in the second Supersport TT race which followed on from eighth in the first encounter. The results, combined with further finishes of eighth and ninth in the Superbike and Superstock races, helped him win the TT Privateer’s Championship and capped a superb week around the 37.73-mile Mountain Course.
Elsewhere, he took four top five finishes at the Ulster Grand Prix and, one of the most underrated riders in the sport, he’s now looking to build on those results as road racing finally returns.
It’s the North West 200 where Coward and the team - who continue with former Honda and Yamaha Grand Prix mechanic Bleasdale as crew chief - get their 2022 campaign underway with Coward keen to make an impression ahead of the TT, which will again be his number one priority this season.
“It’s great that we’re finally going road racing again and, like most riders, I can’t wait to get out on track," said Coward.
"The team have put in a monumental effort to get the bikes ready and after good outings on all three bikes in Spain and at Snetterton and Oulton Park, I’m more than happy with how our preparations have gone.
"All of the bikes feel really good and are all better than how they were in 2019 so we’ll be looking to get some good mileage under our belts and some good results on the board at the NW200 ahead of the TT.
“The TT is the number one priority and I’ll be aiming to better my lap times and go faster on all three bikes there.
"If I can do that, the results will obviously be better too but it won’t be easy as the competition will be as tough as ever with everyone raring to go after three years away.
"There’s a great atmosphere in the team and I know how much time and effort Kevin, Simon and all the guys have been putting in so I’m determined to reward them with strong results at both the TT and NW200.”