Rob McElnea has explained the motivation behind signing up Andrew Pitt for the remainder of the British Superbike Championship season, claiming he has the experience to turn around the Motorpoint Yamaha team's poor fortunes.
Having stolen the headlines pre-season by courting former world champion Neil Hodgson to its midst, the veteran's subsequent injury-related retirement just one round in would force the team onto the back foot.
Indeed, while rookie Dan Linfoot and Hodgson's short-term replacement Ian Lowry have shown flashes of pace, Motorpoint Yamaha currently have a best finish of just eighth from the opening four rounds of the season.
With Lowry's two-event tenure concluding due to pre-existing commitments in the Spanish CEV series, McElnea is delighted to have secured Pitt, a double World Supersport Champion and former World Superbike rider, describing him as the experienced hand the team needs to forge its way up the BSB grid
“We are still trying to recover from losing our team leader Neil Hodgson,” he said. “Our intention was to have an experienced race winner alongside a young gun building a strong team for the season. I have a chance to put that back in place.
“Andrew is a world champion with experience on many machines, including a Yamaha Superbike. We now have an opportunity to give all of our partners the team they were promised and hopefully the results to match. Andrew has to learn the tracks but again he is very experienced and should be able to step up to the challenge.
“I am sure Ian Lowry would have settled down with the bike given more time, and under different circumstances we may have had more time, he has his Spanish series to concentrate on and we wish him well with that.
“This has been the most frustrating season I have ever had and I need to do everything I can to get the team working, Andrew will replace Neil as a wise experienced head to help the whole team get back on track, Dan will benefit from Andrew's feedback and experience and someone to share the pressure of race day.
“I want to thank all our team partners for supporting us through this season, 'this is racing and the best laid plans' and all that but our lack of luck this year takes it to the next level!”
Having tested the bike at Mallory Park already, Pitt will make his BSB race debut at the same circuit later this month.