PR Racing has announced that Simon Andrews has been 'released' from his 2012 BSB commitments with the team.
Andrews had re-signed with the Kawasaki-backed team after missing the second-half of 2011 due to serious leg injuries, sustained in a spectacular accident at Snetterton.
It is the recovery time for those injuries, and the need to field two riders from the start of the year, that have caused the team to 'seek an alternative rider'.
A team statement explained: "The BSB Elite Team rules demand each team must enter a two rider team from the start of the season. Therefore, PR Racing had to make the difficult decision to seek an alternative rider to replace Simon to partner Gary Mason in the team."
PR Racing's Julian Mosquera said that it had been an 'upsetting' decision, but is pleased that Andrews already has some alternative rides in place and hopes he may return in the future.
“It was a very difficult and upsetting decision to make, but the new rules are very clear,” said Mosquera. “Simon's recovery has not been as swift has he - and the team - would have liked. To be ready in time for the season, we need to have him out on the bike testing in the next few weeks, but his recovery cannot be rushed.
“Fortunately for Simon, he has separately signed for Honda Legends to undertake road racing and endurance. That schedule commences later in the year, which affords Simon more time to prepare and test without rushing his recovery process. Simon will remain connected to PR Racing and we hope to bring him back into BSB at some time in the future.”
There is no news on the identity of the replacement, but former Kawasaki MotoGP rider Anthony West looks to be available having lost out on the Swan Yamaha ride (see separate story).