Double Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Champions Morello Racing have today announced there’ll defend their title in 2018 having signed Josh Elliott and Sam Clarke to campaign their Kawasaki ZX-10R machinery.
Western Australian rider Clarke joins the team on the back of a solid maiden season in the UK when he competed in both the Dickies British Supersport and Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championships. The 21-year old started the year strongly in the Supersport class, scoring points in five of the first six races with his best results coming at Knockhill where he took a brace of sevenths.
Continuing with Yamaha machinery, the Perth rider then switched to the 1000cc division for the second half of the year where he again impressed. Taking sixth at the final round at Brands Hatch gave indication of his potential and with a year’s experience of the UK circuits now under his belt, he’ll be confident of being a consistent front runner all season.
“I’m really excited to be with Morello Racing and signing for the Championship-winning team is a great opportunity for me. My first year in the UK was quite a challenge, especially learning all the circuits on a race weekend but it will stand me in good stead for 2018 and I’m looking forward to working with the team. Sixth place at the final round this year was a terrific boost for me and I want to be pushing for top six positions at each and every round and hopefully get a few podiums as well. I know I’ve still got plenty to learn but I can’t wait for the new season to come around so a big thank you to Steve and everyone at Morello Racing.”
Northern Ireland’s Elliott returns to the Norwich-based team with whom he won the Championship in 2015 and will again head into next season as one of the title favourites. The 23-year old took five victories and 11 podiums in total during his dominant title-winning year and despite missing the first four rounds and eight races of 2017, he returned in June and took three podiums in the final four races to claim ninth overall.
With a full winter testing schedule in place, the County Fermanagh rider will be looking to take his second title and give the team their third, following in the footsteps of Danny Buchan who clinched this year’s Championship at the final round at Brands Hatch.
“I’m delighted to be back with Steve and Morello Racing and they’ve given me a great opportunity to win my second title. I know it’ll be a tough season so I won’t be underestimating anyone and I know I’ll need to be at the top of my game but Steve’s put together a great package and I want to be winning races again. Missing the first part of 2017 was tough so it’s nice to have everything secured nice and early and having seen what Danny did on the Kawasaki ZX-10R, I’m looking forward to following in his footsteps. The bike feels great and I’m excited about the year ahead so I can’t wait to go testing and get the ball rolling.”
The team will be officially launched at Motorcycle Live at the NEC on the weekend of November 17-18 before getting their testing schedule underway in Spain in February.
Steve Buckenham, Team Owner
“I’m delighted to announce our new team line-up and with two young and hungry riders, I’m excited about our chances in 2018. We’ve been chasing Josh for some time now as we were keen to get him back on board with us and we’re confident he can emulate what Danny did for us in 2017 and better what he himself achieved in 2015. We know what makes him tick and are confident he’ll be contesting the title from the word go.”
“In young Sam, I see a lot of potential and considering he wasn’t seeing the majority of the tracks this year until Thursday evening or Friday morning, I was very impressed with how he performed. He trains hard and is eager to learn so I think he’ll surprise a lot of people next year. We had a lot of riders contacting us with regards to 2018 but I’m pleased with the choices we’ve made and whilst next season will be a new adventure for us, I’m really looking forward to getting going again.”
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