Moto Rapido Ducati have enhanced the international feel of this year's British Superbike Championship with the signing of Saudi rider Abdulaziz Binladin. The 30 year old will partner Scott Smart in 2012 as the team joins forces with Saudi Falcons Racing.
Smart was the team's sole representative last season, finishing fifth in the EVO class with a victory at Oulton Park the highlight and feels the new regulations, which effectively bring the whole championship under EVO-like rules, will benefit Moto Rapido.
“I’ve been looking forward to this season since the new rules were first mentioned. All the bikes are basically the same, save for some idiosyncrasies here and there so it is all down to the rider, the tyre and the conditions. As always, the fast riders will be fast but we aren’t constrained by not having expensive electronics anymore. Everyone is in the same boat in terms of machinery and that’s really exciting.”
Smart has been racing alongside Binladin in the Qatar International Road Racing Championship over the winter, where the two have been battling it out for victories, and his new teammate is excited about the challenge ahead.
“I’m very proud to take part in BSB. This season, history will be made with the first collaboration between a Saudi (Saudi Falcons Racing) and a British racing team and I do understand that this is going to be a challenge for me. I will do my very best to learn as much and as fast as I can, I’m also confident that I have a great team and good support behind me which will make my job easier.”
Team Owner Steve Moore is bullish about Moto Rapido's chances and believes the change in regulations presents them with an opportunity to move up the grid.
“The playing field for 2012 is level and it has never been more level in the history of the series. We have one of the most experienced riders on the grid who is also a British champion. With Ducati’s help and the backing of our main sponsor Solent Scientific, there is no reason we can’t be giving last year’s frontrunners a hard time. The move up to BSB is a big one and something I am very proud of. We were very happy to become an Elite team for 2012. The new team rules require us to have two riders; this has sparked several partnerships already. There are many teams who would normally be restricted to just one rider who are now joining resources and expertise to become stronger and more stable. For us, the Saudi Falcons team partnership was an ideal solution and allowed us to progress the team.”