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SMR Yamaha unveils new look, new riders
1 December 2012
Shaun Muir Racing has revealed its plans for the 2013 MCE British Superbike Championship with the announcement that it will enter James Ellison and Josh Waters under the brand-new Milwaukee Yamaha banner.
Winner of the BSB title with Tommy Hill in 2011, SMR has run with title backing from Swan for the last three seasons, but with neither its lead rider nor sponsor continuing with the team next year, it will adopt an entirely new look for 2013.
Heading up the team will be Ellison, who returns to BSB competition and the SMR team after two seasons spent competing in the World Supersport Championship and, most recently, in MotoGP as part of Paul Bird's CRT effort.
A runner-up in 2009 aboard a Yamaha YZF-R1, Ellison is delighted to be competing at BSB level again, adding that he feels he has 'unfinished business' after seeing his title hopes on a Swan SMR Honda in 2010 scuppered by injury.
“I am really happy to be part of this team and the championship again as I feel that I still have unfinished business,” he said. “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, meanwhile, will make his BSB debut after securing his second Australian Superbike Championship this year, the 25-year-old confident he can follow in the wheel tracks of countryman Josh Brookes by proving competitive in his first season.
“I am really happy and I still can't believe I have been given this opportunity,” Waters, who has taken in a few wild-card outings at World Superbike level, said. “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.”
Securing a new title backer in Milwaukee Tool Corporation, a manufacturer and marketer of heavy duty portable electric power tools and accessories, SMR will race as Milwaukee Yamaha and compete in a striking new red and white livery.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
As Swan Yamaha, SMR won the 2011 BSB title with Tommy Hill, but after finishing third in 2012, the Briton has decided to take a sabbatical from competition in 2013. His team-mate Noriyuki Haga has yet to reveal his plans for 2013.
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