The Smith Racing Team and its British Supersport Championship winning rider Billy McConnell will step up to the British Superbike Championship in 2015 with a customer BMW entry.

A long established front runner at Supersport level, Smiths Racing clinched the riders' title in 2014 with McConnell riding a Triumph 675R and it is that success that has prompted the outfit to expand its operation to include a Superbike entry.

McConnell will join the team in making the Superbike move aboard a BMW S1000RR, marking a return to the series for the Australian having last competed back in 2008 with MSS Kawasaki.

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"As a team we are really excited about the new challenge that lies ahead of us," said team manager Rebecca Smith. "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."

Having secured that elusive Supersport title in 2014 after several near-misses prior to that, McConnell feels he is ready to tackle the Superbike class once again.

"I'm really excited about the new challenge as it's been a while since I was in BSB but it was important not to go back unless it was with a good team. The Smiths team I won the British Supersport Championship with is making the step up with me so the time is right and I'm really looking forward to racing the BMW. I'm a little nervous too so I will be happy to get our test programme underway."

Smiths will retain a presence in the Supersport class too, with Graeme Gowland staying for another year having finished third overall in 2014, while Jake Dixon replaces McConnell. The duo will continue to race Triumph machinery.