Moto Rapido has announced Danny Buchan will lead its challenge for the 2016 British Superbike Championship as it looks to build on its breakthrough 2015 campaign.
With support from Ducati UK, Moto Rapido began the 2015 season with Jakub Smrz, but an injury for the Czech rider led to the outfit signing former BSB runner-up John Hopkins, who marked his welcome return to form with four top five results, including the team's maiden podium at Brands Hatch.
With Hopkins moving on to Tommy Hill's new THM ePAYMe Yamaha outfit for 2016, Moto Rapido has opted to put its faith in 2014 National Superstock 1000 champion Buchan instead.
The youngster stepped back up to BSB competition in 2015 with Be Wiser Kawasaki after his dominant SSTK 1000 campaign a year earlier. Though his season was largely hampered by a series of mishaps, flashes of pace would culminate in a double podium turn at Oulton Park, performances that he is confident he can replicate on the Ducati 1199 in 2016.
“This really is a great opportunity for me and I think the Ducati should really suit my style. It is a great feeling to have signed for the team at this stage of the year and I can't wait to start working with them because they are a really close knit and hardworking team so I feel that together we can achieve big things - we have seen how strong the Ducati can be towards the end of last season.
"I learnt so much during this year and my first full season in BSB. My approach to it did change slightly during the season where I was learning more and starting to set realistic goals and that is when the results started to come at the end of the year. I learnt a lot more race craft this season so I really think we can be stronger in 2016 because I can build on my previous experiences.
"We have a really good test programme already scheduled and we are all really behind this project - I feel the whole team is like a family. I have ridden a Panigale before when I was in Australia and I absolutely loved it, so I can't wait to get on the Moto Rapido one for the first time. I want to thank Moto Rapido, Ducati UK and everyone else who has made this possible - I can't wait to get started now!"
"2016 is set to be our best year yet,” added team owner Steve Moore “The continued backing and support from Lloyds British has allowed us to move forward and commit to next season early. We have had our eye on Danny for a while now because he really has taken some big steps forward in recent seasons and we are utterly convinced that he will really suit the Ducati. He knows all the circuits and now has Superbike class experience so the time was right to get his signature.
"We have a good base to start off with, so I think this is a really good match with a lot of promise. We truly believe that we have signed one of the biggest young talents in Britain right now and with our comprehensive winter testing programme, we will be ready for the start of the new season.”