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SMT Honda boss Robin Croft plotting roads challenge

'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' - Robin Croft
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.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Conor Cummins at the Ulster Grand Prix
Conor Cummins has joined the Padgetts Racing Honda team for 2017.
Lee Johnston has teamed up with Ryan Farquhar to race a KMR Kawasaki in the NI Air Ambulance colours at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT.
Alastair Seeley with the Tyco BMW he will race at the North West 200.
John McGuinness on the Jackson Racing Honda.
Michael Dunlop, Carl Cox, [Credit: Holeshot PR]
Michael Dunlop has signed for Bennets Suzuki for the 2017 international road races.
Michael Dunlop has signed for the Bennett Suzuki team for 2017.
Guy Martin, John McGuinness Honda Racing, [Credit: Honda Racing]
Guy Martin, Honda Racing, [Credit: Honda Racing]
Josh Brookes has signed to ride for Norton at the Isle of Man TT in 2017.
Dan Kneen has signed for the Penz13.com Racing Team for the 2017 road races.
Dan Hegarty won the TT Privateers Championship in 2016.
Peter Hickman will ride for Smiths Racing in 2017 at the international road races and in the British Superbike Championship.
Peter Hickman won the Macau Grand Prix for the second year running on the Bathams/SMT BMW.
Glenn Irwin on the PBM Ducati at the Macau Grand Prix.
Glenn Irwin on the PBM Be Wiser Ducati at the Macau Grand Prix.
Peter Hickman on the Bathams/SMT BMW at the Macau Grand Prix.

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St Ninians - Unregistered

December 18, 2012 2:03 PM

Robin is a straight line guy runs his team very proffesionally and his machines are prepaired and up there with the factory guys,given the right rider it will certainly be the team to watch at road racing events. I hope he gets a class rider that shows just how well their machines are prepared and the efforts put in to show Robin's passion for the sport gets the results so richly deserved,all the best to them for 2013.

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