Peter Hickman and Lee Jackson have been revealed as Smith Racing BMW's all-new MCE British Superbike championship rider line-up for 2017.
Hickman, who recently defended his Macau Grand Prix crown, finished 2016 as BSB Riders' Cup winner for GBmoto Racing but found himself without a ride after the team withdrew from all racing commitments.
The highly-rated 29-year-old has been snapped up by Smiths Racing BMW alongside youngster Jackson who is preparing for his third consecutive BSB campaign in 2017. Hickman will also be leading Smiths BMW's charge for a road racing campaign this season.
“I have another new challenge to look forward to again this season and I'm relishing it aboard the Smiths Racing BMW,” Hickman said. “All the dealings I've had with the team so far have been fantastic and they are very easy to work with.
“I know the BMW well having ridden it in the past and we've been promised the right support from the factory in Germany which will make a difference. I'm pleased to be bringing my own crew into the team which is a massive bonus so I'm really looking forward to the season in both BSB and on the roads with Smiths Racing.”
Jackson, who won the National Superstock 600 title in 2012 during his rapid rise up the ranks, sticks with BMW machinery having spent the past five years with Stuart Hicken's Hawk Racing – which has become the factory Bennetts Suzuki squad for 2017.
“This will be the first time I've joined a new team in five years so it's a totally different challenge and one I'm very much looking forward to,” Jackson said. “It was time to stand on my own two feet and Rebecca has given me the platform to do that on the BMW which I'm familiar with.
“I know the package and with the support we will have in place, I couldn't be more excited. I'm really looking forward to getting started and the first race at Donington Park can't come soon enough."
Team boss Rebecca Smith is delighted with the rider line-up and is relishing attacking the 2017 BSB season with a strong mix of youth and experience with Hickman and Jackson.
“There's no doubting 2016 was a very difficult season for us all at Smiths Racing and although everyone gave 100%, the results just didn't come,” Smith said. “This year, we are taking a slightly different approach with the help of the factory and we now feel we are in a position to challenge much higher up the leader board.
“Both Lee and Peter bring a wealth of BMW experience to the team and both are established BSB riders whilst we are equally delighted to be making a return to the roads with Peter.”
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