2015 British Supersport champion Luke Stapleford is set to make a brief comeback in the MCE British Superbike championship at Thruxton after landing a wildcard ride with Smiths BMW.
Having made his BSB debut at the back end of last season with JG Speedfit Kawasaki while on the way to sealing his Supersport title, Stapleford will join up with Howie Mainwaring and Jakub Smrz to expand Smiths BMW's line-up for the Hampshire round.
Stapleford – who also made a one-round return to British Supersport with Profile Triumph at Snetterton earlier this month claiming a win and a second place – is midway through the extended World Supersport mid-season break, with action not resuming until the Lausitzring on the 16-18 September.
The British champion is relishing the chance to return to action in BSB and his maiden outing on BMW machinery.
“I am really excited about the opportunity to get back out on a Superbike again, especially with the Smiths Racing BMW team as we have always got on well together,” Stapleford said. “I don't really know what to expect as the BMW is a bit different to what I am used to.
“I really enjoyed my Superbike experience before but when I rode one last year I was racing in both Superbike and Supersport, so having one focus should make it a little bit easier compared to jumping from one to the other.
“Last year I really enjoyed Thruxton on the Supersport bike and I can't wait to see what the Superbike feels like there; I can imagine it will be a little bit more of a handful but I am under no pressure and I just want to see how I can stack up against Howie and Jakub.
“I know that BSB has been incredibly close this season, and Thruxton is naturally a place where everyone is even closer, so I just want to make the most of the opportunity, enjoy the weekend and do the best job I can for the team.”
Team manager Rebecca Smith has gladly welcomed the addition of Stapleford as a wildcard and is confident her trio of riders can produce a strong showing at Thruxton this weekend.
“We have always had a great relationship with the Staplefords and as the World Superbike calendar now allows, we thought it was a great time for Luke to have an outing on our BMW at Thruxton,” Smith said. “We are looking forward to welcoming him into the team and are hopeful of some good results this coming weekend.”