Swelling the ranks of the lightweight class, the duo from opposite hemispheres prepare for their debut
The Benjan–Kawasaki racing team announces this week the introduction of two new riders as their line-up for the 2018 World Supersport 300 season. Dutchmen Walid Khan Soppe (18) and Australian Tom Edwards (16) will have their introduction to the world stage as full-time competitors, with the Benjan–Kawasaki squad giving the teenagers plenty of confidence for next year.
Walid Khan Soppe is already well-known in the racing world, and the Dutch rider has managed impressive results early in his career as the runner-up to this year’s ADAC Northern Europe Cup Moto3 Championship title. Soppe also has three years of Red Bull Rookies Cup experience and raced in both the Spanish CEV Moto3 and the German IDM Moto3 classes. A determined and dedicated rider, Soppe fits perfectly with the Benjan–Kawasaki racing team philosophy.
Already the reigning Champion from this year’s Australian Yamaha R3 Cup, Tom Edwards has shown his considerable talent by finishing his inaugural season in the Australian Supersport 300 class with an impressive second place. Before his achievements of this season, the young rider from New South Wales was successful alongside fierce competition in his bid for a spot for the 2016 Asia Talent Cup. Edwards joined the Benjan–Kawasaki team once previously as a Wildcard for the final round of the World Supersport 300 in Jerez, and the team are avid supporters of upcoming Australian riding talent.
Walid Khan Soppe: “I’m looking forward to compete in a new championship, but it’s hard to say anything about it as everything is new for me. Even the bike! I’ve got a very good feeling with the team already and I’m really looking forward to this new and excited adventure.”
Tommy Edwards: “I enjoyed the ride in the final round (in 2017), the competition is very strong. I am excited that the Benjan - Kawasaki Racing team has given me the opportunity, and I can't wait for next season. Racing in Europe has always been a dream, and I'm fortunate to get the chance so soon!”
Team manager Rob Vennegoor: “We are delighted to work with Kawasaki for the third year in a row. Because of the Ninja 400 and our new riders, we hope we can score some good results in the World Supersport. Walid and Tom are motivated and very talented riders with a lot of experience even though they are still very young, and we're very confident we'll have a good year ahead.”