Bridgestone’s motorcycle business development manager Steve Watts shakes hands on a tyre deal with Portsmouth motocross star Luke Blanchard.
A ‘supremely gifted’ motocross rider from Portsmouth is hoping that 2016 will finally be a breakthrough year to remember, after securing a high profile sponsorship with Bridgestone to boost his chances of an overdue success.
Luke Blanchard, aged 28, is jumping back on the saddle after being plagued by injuries, culminating in a ruptured cruciate knee ligament which curtailed his natural speed and ability last year.
But on a new Suzuki 250RMZ bike in the MX2 AMCA Championship, the Wickham speedster is targeting success, with the backing of the world’s largest tyre manufacturer providing a timely confidence boost.
Bridgestone will be providing Luke with a season’s supply of BATTLECROSS tyres, which Luke believes will give him an edge over his rivals, many of whom will not be aware of the new product.
He said: “I am planning on winning the championship. Nothing less is good enough in my eyes. I have been doing this for so many years so I feel I have the right amount of experience to do really well.
“My speed has always been there and I have always shown enough to ability to win a championship, but I have been beset my external factors outside of my control.”
Luke has dislocated his left knee six times and his right knee on three occasions, while a number of other injuries have stifled his progress, but after a gruelling winter of fitness work and marathon runs, he feels he is finally ready to take the sport by storm.
“I have learnt a lot over the years, mentally as well as physically and I’m more determined than ever. I want to achieve something in my career and I now have a great opportunity.”
Luke feels indebted to Bridgestone for its sponsorship, which was agreed between the company’s motorcycle business development manager Steve Watts and Nigel Meredith, the owner of Meredith Motocross in Bristol, who have backed Luke for a number of years.
Steve said: “We have supplied a range of tyres to Meredith Motocross for some time now, and we have a great relationship with Nigel and his team.
“We were made aware of Luke’s talent and it seemed like a perfect time to support him with a supply of our BATTLECROSS products.
“We hope that his performances will create demand around our motocross range of tyres, which we feel are amongst the very best in the sport.”
Luke added: “I have tested the tyres out and first impressions are really positive. The grip they provide from the starting gate is better than any other tyre I have been on and the fronts give me a huge boost in confidence. This in turn allows me to perform better and I believe I can shave seconds off my lap times through Bridgestone’s X30 tyres.”
Nigel Meredith, owner of Meredith Motocross, believes Luke can achieve all of his aims this season, having supported him for a number of years.
“He is a supremely gifted rider and I have seen how good he can be first hand on many occasions. We feel that this is his time after some injury misfortune in the past.
“His speed has never been in question and I do think that after all of his hard work in the winter, there is no reason why he can’t achieve all the results that his ability deserves.”
Luke will be supported with Bridgestone’s BATTLECROSS range throughout the season, specifically the X20, X30 and X40 tyres.
All three products represent Bridgestone’s most advanced motocross technology, helping to provide superior grip, speed and control across any terrain.
For more information about Bridgestone’s motocross tyre range, visit http://www.bridgestone.co.uk/moto/