Matej Smrz, younger brother of BSB racer Jakub, will join his sibling in the British Superbike Championship this year after he was announced as joining PR Racing to ride its new BMW S1000RR.
Though not as well known to BSB fans compared with his former world championship competing brother, Matej has nonetheless enjoyed notable success in the German-based IDM Superbike series and was in the hunt for the title in 2015 riding BMW machinery.
For 2016, Matej will follow 'Kuba' to the UK in an attempt to repeat that success, the Czech rider signing with PR Racing as it confirms a switch to BMW machinery itself.
“I'm really looking forward to this season and being in BSB; since my brother has been racing in the championship I have been following every race and I always check the results - I'm sure this will be a step forward in my career. I have been to a few rounds with Kuba to watch the races and from my point of view it is the best Superbike series in the world.
"I think it's going to be a very tough season ahead; I will have to learn the new tracks and the specification of the bike is different to IDM, but my target is to improve throughout the season. It is very positive to be racing in the same championship as my brother though, as we haven't raced in the same class for 15 years. We always do our training together and if our races didn't clash we supported each other at the circuit, so I feel we will help each other during the season.
"BSB is the most competitive championship I know and I'm happy to be part of it. I can't wait to race in front of the best fans and the huge crowds this year. I have to thank PR Racing for this opportunity."
For team manager John Jameson, he is delighted to have signed a rider of Smrz's calibre, not least because of his experience on the BMW
"We are delighted to welcome Matej to the team for the new season. We have a lot to look forward to this year, particularly as we move to BMW and that is the manufacturer that Matej has a huge amount of experience and success with in the IDM series. We begin our testing programme next month and we are really excited about getting started."
Of note, Smrz's acquisition comes at the expense of previously announced signing Robbin Harms, who was originally confirmed last year.
Jakub Smrz, meanwhile, will also ride BMW machinery in 2016 with Smiths Racing.