The 2012 MCE Insurance British Superbike grid continues to take shape with GBmoto and Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki Racing confirming their entries for the new season.
GBmoto will move up from the National Superstock 1000 Championship with Tristan Palmer making the step-up with them. The Ansley rider won three races on his way to fourth overall and Team Principal Mark Smith-Halvorsen has backed him to impress next year.
“We know how tough the step up in class is going to be in 2012, but it has always been our intention to go Superbike racing and win – so let's get on with the job of learning fast and putting a solid season together. Tristan is an asset to our team; he has good Superbike experience and I know he is going to surprise people next year.”
“We are currently talking to lots of other riders – some in the UK, some from overseas – it's my job to make sure we get another competitive guy and I am very confident we will do that. As for machinery, detailed plans are already in place and I expect us to be running factory kitted bikes next year.”
“I would like to thank everybody that has supported us through 2011; our message to you is simple: “you have allowed us to succeed”. A great deal of gratitude goes to everybody that has supported us in every way, throughout the year.”
Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki Racing sees the merger of two existing BSB outfits, Danny Cheevers' Pr1mo Racing and Pete Extance's Bournemouth Kawasaki, with Chris Walker and James Hillier providing the riding talent.
Walker is looking forward to the new look British Superbike Championship and feels the 2012 rules will allow his experience to shine through.
“It is exciting that the team has come together; to join forces is great as they have some big plans and it is fantastic to be able to be back on the BSB grid next year. For me it is brilliant to be with the same team for a second consecutive season as we know what we need to build on and how we can make improvements. I am familiar with the team and the Kawasaki and the new rules I think will suit riders like me who have raced Superbikes for over a decade; hopefully that experience will close the gap. I was desperate to be back in BSB in 2012 and we want to be pushing for the top six in the Showdown as that is my ambition. We had some top five finishes last year and we will return more prepared so hopefully we can achieve that goal as the team and the machine have the potential.”
Hillier took part in his first full season last year with only one point to show for his efforts and is hopeful that the opportunity to ride with Walker will aid his development.
“I am really looking forward to next season and working alongside Chris as a two man team. Last season was my first full year and as a one rider team it does make it more difficult, whereas in 2012 we will be able to work together and I can learn from him and his experience. Everyone knows it is hard racing in BSB but everyone in the team will be determined and giving one hundred percent. We have some data now from last year so we have a better starting point and with the new rules I don't think we will now be a million miles away. For me I want to have a consistent year and score top ten finishes and I think the team's hard work is invaluable in order to do this.”
2012 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship
Confirmed Teams & Riders
|Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki||67
| Shane Byrne
|Tyco Suzuki||2||Josh Brookes|
| Alex Lowes
James Westmoreland Graeme Gowland
|Honda Racing UK||7
| Michael Laverty
|PR Racing Kawasaki||17
| Simon Andrews
|Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki Racing||9
| Chris Walker
|GBmoto Racing||33||Tristan Palmer|