SMT Honda boss Robin Croft is on the lookout for a rider to spearhead an assault on the international road races in 2013.
Croft, who ran both Michael Rutter and John McGuinness on his SMT Fireblades at the Macau Grand Prix last month, had been in talks with Manx rider Conor Cummins over a possible deal next season.
However, Cummins appears to have opted to join Northern Ireland rider William Dunlop at Shaun Muir's British championship Milwaukee Yamaha team for the roads, ending his one-year stint at Tyco Suzuki.
Croft is keen to compete at the North West 200, Isle of Man TT, Southern 100, Ulster Grand Prix and Macau next year, but concedes his options are limited with Cummins bound for SMR and most of the top road racers already signed up for 2013.
Lincolnshire's Gary Johnson could be an option, but is understood to be keen on running his own team.
“We've got a Superbike and a Superstock sorted and I'd build a World Supersport version of the 600cc Honda,” Croft told Crash.Net
“I have all the infrastructure in place but finding a rider won't be easy as most of the top riders have been lured by factory teams.
“I don't have the budget to compete in the British Superbike Championship and to be honest it's not worth my while – teams pay to compete in BSB and it can't be right that we're paying to entertain the crowds.
“There's not even any prize money in BSB, so I've decided to go road racing. The TT is a big passion of mine and the event is in the ascendancy right now,” he added.
“I'd like to do the five big road races but I want a rider who will be capable of winning.
“Gary Johnson is in that bracket but Gary has his own plans, although you never know what might happen so I'll just wait and see if anything comes up.”