Team History


1996: British Superbike Championship
Rider: Ray Stringer

1997: British Superbike Championship
Riders: Ray Stringer and Steve Hislop

1998: British Superbike Championship
Riders: Max Vincent and Ray Stringer

1999: NW200 and IOM TT and 250GP
Rider: Ian Lougher and Scott Smart

2000: World Championships - 500cc
Riders: Shane Norval, Ron Haslam, Callum Ramsey, Phil Giles

2001: World Championships - 500cc
Rider: Johan Stigefelt

2002: Macau GP
Rider: Chris Palmer

2003: The Hunt for a New British World Champion Begins
Riders: Luke and Jamie Mossey

2004: Conti Cup
Riders: Luke and Jamie Mossey

2005: Spanish Metrakit Championship
Riders: Luke and Jamie Mossey


British SuperBikes: 1996 - 1998

Team Sabre Sport was formed in 1996 to fulfil the ambitions of the team owner, Keith Newnham to produce Britains first GP World Champion in the premier class since the great Barry Sheene in the seventies.

To establish themselves Sabre Sport entered the newly revitalised and highly competitive British Superbike Championship and with Ray Stringer contracted to ride the teams Kawasaki ZXR750 the first steps to their ultimate ambition had begun.

With good machinery and support Ray won the British Superbike Privateers Championship with an unbeaten record.

With Kawasaki, Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki and Ducati all fielding works supported teams in 1997 the British Championship became even more competitive. Sabre welcomed this extra competition and with Ray onboard regularly beat the works bikes. For the Knockhill round, Sabre contracted the services of the late Steve Hislop who justified Sabre Sports commitment with a superb second place overall, only missing the win because of a missed gear at the last corner. The 1997 season closed with Ray Stringer and Team Sabre Sport as British Superbike Privateer Champions for the second year running.

For 1998 Sabre Sport retained the services of Ray but now as rider manager. Max Vincent was hired as the number one rider and was proving his potential until he fell mid-season whilst leading the Privateers Championship, Warwick Knowland was drafted in to replace him. Max returned later in the year and gained second place in the Privateers Championship.

Isle of Man and NorthWest 200 Road Circuits: 1999

After three successful years in Superbikes it was time to move a step closer to the Grand Prix goal. For this, two stroke experience was required. With British Superbikes no longer supporting two stroke machinery open roads beckoned. Two Honda NSR500 V Twins were purchased along with a Honda RS250. Ian Lougher was contracted to ride the bikes at the Northwest 200 and Isle of Man TT races. The season started well with a 4th place at the Mallory Park Race of the Year. Ian took a 5th place in the main race at the Northwest and a second in the 250 class. Delighted with the performance and experience gained the team sets its sights on the punishing 37 mile open roads course for the Isle of Man TT races. Ian brought the bike home in fifth place in the Formula 1 race and third in the Senior.

Many people would argue that a modern lightweight two stroke machine would not be well suited for the TT but with sheer hard work and determination 600 miles were covered without a single breakdown. Sabre Sport also became the first team since 1989 to put a grand prix machine on the podium of the TT Senior Race.


250cc World Championship Grand Prix: 1999

In June of 1999 Sabre were contacted by IRTA/Dorna (the GP governing body) offering them a place on the 250 grid for the remainder of the season. Scott Smart was contracted to ride the newly purchased ex works Aprilia. The team competed in the remaining 8 grands prixs with a best finish of 12th at the Spanish GP at Valencia.


500cc World Championship Grand Prix: 2000-2001

Due to the teams success and presentation in the 250 class, Sabre were invited to step up to the premier 500cc class for 2000. Shane Norval was contracted amd two new NSR500 V-twins were purchased from Honda. The season started well with Shane getting some good results but unfortunetely at the Quatar GP he was knocked off by Max Biaggi and broke his arm. Over the next two GPs Ron Haslam and Callum Ramsey rode for the team. Phil Giles rode for the remainder of the season, with moderate success.

Having campaigned the V-twin in 2000 Sabre realised they needed more powerful V4 machinery. Unable to lease a factory bike the team set about building their own. Over the winter of 2000/2001 the Sabre V4 was designed and built in the teams new premises in Essex, England. A chassis was built based on the Yamaha YZR of 1994, noted by many as the firms best design to date. YZR crankcases and gearbox were used and custom made engine internals, pipes and ignition were fitted.

Johan Stigefelt was contracted to ride the new machine. The Sabre V4 was wheeled out for the first IRTA test at Estoril, Portugal in April 2001. The bike performed beyond the teams expectations and lapped within two seconds of the factory bikes.

Throughout the 2001 season the bike was a great success with Sabre consistently the best performing privateer team. The bike was developed further at each Grand Prix but unfortunetely the tide was turning against two stroke machinery. Plans were announced to phase out the 500cc bikes and replace them with 990cc four stroke machines. Early indications were that the new four stroke machines would outperform even the best of the factory two strokes and the future looked bleak for a small team on a limited budget. More bad news was to follow though as only eleven teams would be franchised for the next five years. With Sabre being the last 500cc team to join the World Championships a grid place was not offered for the following year.


Macau Grand Prix: 2002

With no GP start for 2002 the team had to consider its options and decided to take a year out to develop ignition and data logging system for race bikes.

The Sabre V4 was brought out once that year and taken to Macau in November, finishing 8th with former British 125cc Champion Chris Palmer aboard.


The Hunt for a New British World Champion Begins: 2003

After several years in the top flight of British and World competition the decision was made to start looking for a young British rider that showed the potential and motivation to climb the ladder all the way to motoGP.

In August the team met with eleven year old twins Luke and Jamie Mossey. The pair were competing in Minimoto and were looking to take the next step up to bigger wheeled bikes. A five year contract was signed running from 2004 through till 2009.

During the year Sabre ran their Honda RS125 at selected rounds of the British 125cc Championship finsihing with a best of third at Donington and fourth at Brands Hatch.


Conti Cup: 2004

Luke and Jamie were entered into the Conti Cup, a series for 50cc machines held over ten rounds. Luke won eight of the races with Jamie finishing on the rostrum at seven of the rounds. Luke finished the year as champion with Jamie coming in third overall.

In November the team was invited to compete in the Metrakit World Festival at Almeria, Spain. Luke ruffled a few Spanish feathers by qualifying in pole position. Luke was to eventually finish second with Jamie taking fourth place.

After the success in Spain, Metrakit invited the team to compete in the 2005 Metrakit Championship.