The winter roundabout of rider seats can sometimes produce joys and sorrows for all racers. Regret over losing your place in a top-tier team can be compensated for with the knowledge that you can show everyone your worth in other technically valid championships. This is the case of Xavi Fores, coming off the back of an unsatisfactory season World Superbike with Kawasaki Puccetti Racing and who will now have to turn his gaze (again) to BSB British Superbike.
A highly experienced rider
The Spaniard is a rider of undoubted qualities, with an enviable racing record and past experience in the 125cc World Championship, Moto2, MotoGP (at Misano 2016 replacing Loris Baz), European Superstock 1000, World SuperSport 600 and IDM Superbike with a title won in 2014 with 3C Racing. Without a doubt, the dream season for the rider from Llombai was 2018, when he was crowned best independent rider in World SBK with Barni Racing. Despite five podiums, 15 top-6 finishes and 230 points, all this (strangely ..) was not enough for Xavi Fores. With the official teams having already defined their programs and riders for 2019, the then 33-year-old had to emigrate to British Superbike.
Debut in BSB
Having joined the Honda Racing UK Team alongside the up-and-coming Andrew Irwin, adapting to the CBR 1000RR SP2 and the British championship proved to be more complicated than expected. Despite being part of one of the top teams in the history of BSB (four titles in recent times), the year was not positive at all: it ended in ninth place, exclusion from the Showdown (the so-called end-of-season playoffs reserved for the top six in the standings) due to a forgettable performance at Oulton Park, with just one pole position and four podiums to his name. Although the assistance given to Havier Beltran's outfit was fundamental, especially in terms of tyre management, the lack of electronic aids on the bike and, above all, knowledge of most of the British tracks, made itself felt. This is one aspect that confirms the negative trend of those protagonists who arrive in the series from the world scene.
Return to the world stage with Puccetti
After arriving back on the international scene, his 2020 season was highly confusing. COVID-19 emergency aside, having taken the place vacated by Toprak Razgatlioglu, the 35-year-old's results were not up to par with Manuel Puccetti's ambitions. For various reasons, Xavi Fores and the Kawasaki ZX-10RR never actually gelled, the Spaniard even struggling to get into the top-10. At the end of the season in 13th place with only 61 points to his credit and an eighth position as his best race result (performances not in line with the rider and team), came the decision to leave the Italian outfit at the end of the current year.
"I believed so much in this project, unfortunately I found a cruel reality. I was never listened to and I leave SBK with bitterness, knowing that I am a good rider. This is racing, I thank all those who supported me. Soon I will be able to say what my destiny will be, what is certain is that I will not be in the paddock for which I have always fought to stay in", was Fores' message on social media channels.
What now? Attention turns to OMG Racing
"BSB is a wonderful championship and, irrespective of the results obtained, I believe it is a life experience that every rider must have in their career", Xavi Fores himself had said after the opening race of 2020 at Phillip Island. A few months later, needless to say, the paths of the Spaniard and the BSB championship could cross for a second time. As in 2018, the 35-year-old found himself without a ride in the World Championship with most of the 2021 contracts already signed. One of his few remaining options now lies precisely in British Superbike. With the season over a couple of weeks ago at Brands Hatch, the programs of the various teams are now being defined, including that of Rich Energy OMG Racing.
After the divorce with Hector Barbera and Luke Mossey was announced a few days ago, the team directed by Paul Curran now intends to embark on a new winning project. The characteristics of Xavi Fores, also looking for new stimuli and victories, would fit perfectly with their desire for success. In this sense, a learning year will facilitate things both from a technical and racing point of view. As if that were not enough, at the same time, the team would become an important benchmark for the development of the brand new BMW M1000RR. Negotiations are underway and the name of the first rider will be announced in the coming weeks.