BSB race-winner Alastair Seeley is set for a return to the MCE British Superbike this season after joining Royal Air Force BMW.
The Carrickfergus rider has secured championship titles in both the Supersport and Superstock classes and has strong experience as a previous race winner in BSB while he also made the BSB Showdown in 2010.
The 36-year-old is relishing the challenge after finishing runner-up in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 class last season with Tyco BMW and is delighted to remain on BMW machinery in 2016 with RAF BMW.
"It is great to be back in the Superbike Championship, the elite class, again,” Seeley said. “I have been there before and know what it takes - I have had some seasons to regroup in Supersport and Superstock and I want to come back and pick up where I left off in 2012. I have obviously been keeping a close eye on BSB and it looks like it is not going to be easy with the level of riders on the grid and everyone is so close on times - but that is good for me and I am ready for the challenge.
"I feel that my experience on the BMW in the Superstock class will help me this season and I am working with crew that I know already, which is a big bonus for me too. I want to start the season strongly, as when I was in the Showdown before you need to get yourself inside the top six and then to maintain it. We have a really good testing programme, so we should be able to start fighting from the opening round and moving forward from there. The team have proven they can be on the podium so I obviously want to try and make that happen again this year and be back in the Showdown again."
RAF BMW boss Lee Hardy welcomes Seeley with open arms and is thrilled to secure a rider with experience on the BMW S1000RR having lost BSB and road racing star Peter Hickman to JG Speedfit Kawasaki during the winter.
“For me Alastair has a large amount of unfinished business within the elite class and has a wealth of experience in BSB,” Hardy said. “Previously he has been a Showdown contender and also a race winner so the pedigree is there, we have an extensive testing schedule planned for most of March including many new parts to test. I am confident we can get the bike to how Alastair requires it and with confidence comes results; he could be a dark horse and one to watch.
"It's great news for the team to have the Royal Air Force on board again for the 2016 season. Briggs Equipment are continuing their support after such a successful season in 2015 - Andrew and Emma Martin have been instrumental in the success of the team and they are looking forward to the season ahead.”
Seeley is also expected to compete with Lee Hardy's RAF BMW at the North West 200 in the Superstock and Superbike races, while switching to Gearlink Kawasaki in the middleweight Supersport races.