Reigning British Supersport Champion Billy McConnell will return to the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship in 2015, progressing to the premier class with the title-winning Smiths Racing team to compete on board the BMW S 1000RR.
McConnell last competed in the Superbike class in 2008, before seven successful campaigns in the Supersport Championship, which the Australian won in 2014 with the Gloucester-based Smiths team. The 2015 season will mark Smiths Racing's debut season in MCE BSB after taking two title victories in the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship.
Smiths Racing will continue to fight for the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship title in 2015 with factory-backed Triumph Daytona 675Rs. They will bid to retain the crown they won in 2014 with Graeme Gowland and Jake Dixon.
McConnell said: “I am really looking forward to stepping into Superbike again in 2015. It is really exciting to be doing it with the Smiths team as they are a family to me now as this will be my fourth season with them. I suppose I am a bit nervous stepping back into Superbikes as it is the biggest class and there are a lot of great riders lined up for next year, but that is where everyone wants to be.
“Going into the Superbike class as a British Champion is something I am really proud of. The BMW has been proven to be a competitive package this year in the Championship. It is something we are looking forward to and we want to keep pushing forward to get top tens and definitely try to make the Showdown, which is what everyone wants! I want to do myself and the team proud in 2015.”
Team Manager Rebecca Smith said: “As a team we are really excited about the new challenge that lies ahead of us. Following our second British Supersport title in three years, we feel that the time is right to step up to the MCE British Superbike Championship. The BMW was an obvious choice for us and we can't wait to start the testing programme. The class is looking to be as strong as ever next year so our expectations of both Billy and the new BMW are high.”
Marketing Manager, BMW Motorrad UK, Lee Nicholls commented: “It is great to be able to support Smiths Racing for their 2015 Superbike campaign. Smith Racing will be supported via the BMW Motorrad Customer Racing Programme and we are really pleased the team approached BMW Motorrad for this opportunity.”