Former World Superbike outfit Supersonic Racing have signalled their intentions for their debut BSB season by signing ex-Grand Prix rider Anthony West. The newcomers will run factory-spec BMW S1000RR machines supplied by BMW Motorrad Italia with the bikes tuned to the new BSB rules.
West was initially set to ride Speed Master's CRT bike in MotoGP but a lack of funding saw that ride go to Mattia Pasini. But Supersonic have offered him a route back into racing and the 250cc Grand Prix winner is excited at the prospect of racing on the British circuits.
“It has been a difficult couple of weeks for me; I obviously lost the ride in MotoGP and before then I hadn’t looked outside of that paddock. I looked at what John (Hopkins) had done by racing in BSB last year and I thought it could be a good move for me. I don’t know a lot of the tracks, but I have experience of learning fast from the different championships I have raced in before. It will also be a new experience riding the BMW Superbike so it is exciting for me; the competition this year looks like it will be the best it has ever been in BSB so it will be a new challenge. My fans have been a great support to me and it was also their reaction of wanting to see me race in BSB that pushed me to continue my racing career.”
West's teammate will be Swiss rider Patric Muff who joins the team from Quay Garage Racing. The 28 year old saw the collaboration with one of BMW's World Superbike teams as a key factor in joining Supersonic.
“After my podiums and fourth place in BSB Evo last year, this season I had a single goal and that was to be back on the grid. After conversations with different teams, Danilo Soncini of Supersonic Racing offered me the chance to ride in his team. I’m so happy because they have a strong technical background with the official support from BMW Motorrad Italia. I am totally aware of what a big opportunity this is for me and I’ll do my best to achieve the results. It certainly will not be easy with the entry of riders like my team-mate Anthony West and Noriyuki Haga, the level of competition this year has certainly increased. However, I can’t wait to sit on my new bike for the first time!”
Team Owner Danilo Soncini is proud to be a part of the British Superbike Championship and feels his outfit can contribute to a thrilling season in 2012.
“I’m still excited about everything that has happened in these past two months. The decision to leave racing had left an emptiness that I was unable to fill in any other way than returning to racing, then there was an opportunity to compete in BSB. The championship is really the ultimate expression of passion for motorcycling and to be able to compete as an Elite Team fills me with pride. The list of people that I have to thank for this project seems never-ending as so many have contributed to make this dream come true. We are ready to entertain and have fun!”
For a full updated list of the teams and riders for 2012, click here.