Josh Waters to BSB Yamaha

Shaun Muir Racing (SMR) are ready to challenge for a second MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship title after announcing their 2013 line up of James Ellison and double Australian Superbike champion Josh Waters onboard the newly-unveiled Milwaukee Yamahas.

Ellison returns to the team after competing in the 2012 MotoGP World Championship and is a proven title contender; he finished runner-up in 2009 and was in contention for the title in 2010 before a crash left him sidelined with a broken femur.

Waters is set to make his debut in the British Championship after securing his second Australian title this season. The 25-year-old first experienced the series with a visit to the Silverstone round of the Championship this year as a spectator and is now determined to secure a Showdown position in his maiden season.

The team also revealed their new livery to race fans after announcing a new title partnership with Milwaukee Tool Corporation. Milwaukee is an industry-leading manufacturer and marketer of heavy-duty, portable electric power tools and accessories.

Ellison said: “I am really happy to be part of this team and the championship again as I feel that I still have unfinished business. I have seen how the championship has unfolded this year and I am really looking forward to coming back. The level of competition is definitely very high and you could see that from last season, but I know this is a strong team who are hugely capable and share the same goals. I am now looking forward to testing the Milwaukee Yamaha as the technical rules have changed since I last raced in BSB, which should suit me better as I prefer riding without traction control! I know I achieved a lot this year and now I am returning focused and confident about 2013. In 2009 I was second in the championship and I then joined SMR and we would have been fighting for the title if it hadn’t been for injury so I know that together we have the ability to put the Milwaukee Yamaha at the front; I am certainly not coming back to just make up the numbers!”

Waters said: “I am really happy and I still can’t believe I have been given this opportunity. I visited the Silverstone round this year and the championship was a big surprise to me as it is much bigger than I was expecting. I won my second Superbike title in Australia this year and I feel like that I have accomplished that goal and now I am ready for a new challenge. I am a realist and know that I am going to have to work hard at it this season but this is a huge step in the right direction for me, especially to work with a championship-winning team. I am hoping that the Showdown format will work in my favour as it gives me a chance to learn some of the tracks and I want to be in the top six. I can’t wait to get started and hopefully we can do enough to be there when it counts. I want to be successful in the championship and I am dedicated to succeeding with the Milwaukee Yamaha team.”

Team owner Shaun Muir concluded: “Everyone at SMR have been working tirelessly since the end of last season to ensure that we return in the strongest possible position in 2013. We want to win back the BSB title and with the combination of James and Josh, plus an exciting new title partner with Milwaukee, I believe we have the foundations to return refreshed and ready to come out fighting. It is fantastic to have James back in the team as we know that he is a proven title contender with lots of experience. I am also pleased to welcome Josh for his debut season in the championship; he is a young, fast and upcoming Australian rider who will bring a new dynamic to the team. I want to thank everyone involved with the Milwaukee Yamaha team and now we begin to look ahead to our testing programme to ensure we are ready for the opening round of the season at Brands Hatch.”

– Aitchison stays in BSB with Aprilia

Splitlath Redmond Aprilia are ready to hit the ground running when the 2013 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship gets underway next April after today (Friday) confirming that Australian Mark Aitchison and Czech Jakub Smrz will remain with the team for next season.

The team are eager to build on their 2012 programme as they continue the development of the Aprilia RSV-4s with Aitchison and Smrz, who both made their championship debut this year. Former World Superbike contender Smrz secured the team’s best results including a maiden front row qualifying position at Assen and a twelfth place at Silverstone. Aitchison’s early progress was hampered by a hand injury, but he is aiming high for his return to the team co-owned by former Olympic athlete Derek Redmond and John Dimbylow.

The team also announced an exciting new partnership with Aprilia UK as they will receive parts and technological support from Aprilia Racing in Italy, with WSB personnel attending selected BSB rounds and tests to help with the development.

Aitchison said: “This is the first time I have returned with a team and that is great news for me and shows that I am in a really settled place right now. I know the team and how they operate so we can have a productive winter and be ready to get started as soon as the season starts. We are all feeling really optimistic about next year and with the development we have planned we should be able to make baby steps in the beginning and then really build it up during the season. I am happy to be team-mates with Kuba again and between us we know we can work hard to put the Splitlath Redmond Aprilia where it should be and we need to be aiming for the top three. There is a great atmosphere in the team and we will keep having fun whilst getting the job done in 2013.”

Smrz said: “I am happy to be back in BSB next season. It was great to be there for the final rounds this year and I enjoyed it a lot with the Splitlath Redmond Aprilia team. It wasn’t easy to come in for the final rounds as the other riders had been on track all season and we were starting new. We spent time working to make the bike better at those last events, but now looking at next year I am pretty confident about the tracks I know and I will learn the others. My team is working hard on the bike already and we will be making a big step up next year. I am ready to do my best and I want to stay on top! I am sure we will be moving forward and I can’t wait to ride again and be more competitive.”

– More BSB Rider updates

Bournemouth Kawasaki has strengthened their line up for the 2013 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship with a mix of the old warrior and the young gun as Chris ‘Stalker’ Walker is joined by Danny Buchan in the race-winning team, combining youth and experience.

The team scored an emotional maiden victory at Oulton Park last season as Walker secured his first race win in a decade to a rapturous reception. The fans’ favourite was in contention for a position in the Showdown until a crash at Knockhill left him with broken heels but he fought back to claim top ten finishes on his return from injury later in the season.

19-year-old Buchan joins the team after making his debut in the Championship this season and he instantly impressed with a strong fourth place finish at only his second event. The former title contender in the National Superstock 1000 Championship is now relishing the challenge of his first full campaign in the Superbike class.

Walker said: “I love racing in BSB and I am absolutely chuffed to be back on the grid in 2013 with Kawasaki. The numbers tell the story; Kawasaki won the BSB and both Superstock titles which is a massive achievement and I feel that we can only continue to move forward. Last year was the team’s first season in BSB and we won a race, which was an amazing feat. I think if it hadn’t been for the crash at Knockhill we would have been in with a shot of the Showdown so that bodes well for 2013. It is great to be team-mates with Danny as I think we will be able to push each other all season and to have someone young and talented like him in the garage means I can pass on some of my experience as I was fortunate enough to have that at the start of my career. It will be the youngest versus oldest, tallest versus smallest in our garage but I can’t wait as it should be a great season!”

Buchan said: “I am so happy to be back riding a Kawasaki, especially to be in BSB full time as that has always been one of my goals. It will be my first full season in the championship but I think working with the Bournemouth Kawasaki team and Chris will help me make progress all the time. I wasn’t very lucky last season but I think we can turn things around next year and we know that the Kawasaki is capable of winning races so we need to get ready and come out with a big boom at Brands Hatch!”

Team owner Pete Extance concluded: “2013 is a very exciting year for Bournemouth Kawasaki having secured the title of the official Kawasaki UK BSB team and it is now down to us to put together a complete package and team worthy of the title. We have entrusted Chris Walker, who this year gave me 110 % every time he rode the motorcycle, and we felt unlucky not to make the Showdown. He is a true professional and will be a great asset especially to Danny Buchan, who despite his young age has already shown great potential on a Superbike. We feel that it won’t be long before he is knocking on the door of podium finishes. I also want to thank all of our sponsors and look forward to working with them again in 2013.”