Andrew Pitt has set himself lofty aspirations for the coming World Superbike season as he believes he can establish the newly-formed Reitwagen BMW team as a reckoned force in its first year of competition.
Pitt embarks on his first World Superbike campaign for four years this season after agreeing to join the Austrian-based team, which made its first public appearance during testing at Phillip Island this weekend.
It was an encouraging two days for Reitwagen too, Pitt revealing the S1000RR is equipped with a standard engine and exhaust, yet he was consistently faster than factory BMW riders Troy Corser and Ruben Xaus in a straight line.
Indeed, while Pitt says it is difficult to predict exactly how fast the bike will be at the Australian season opener this week, he senses promise in the package.
“It's actually a shame that the first round is at Phillip Island and not towards the end of the season because I go well here,” he told Crash.net
. “To make expectations for the first race after just two days testing is tough, but I think if we can get through both races and score some points then that would be a good start.
“I think we can look towards the top ten in the championship, that's what I'd be happy with. If we can be consistently close to the top five by the end of the year, even better.”
Pitt's return to World Superbikes comes after acrimonious splits with Yamaha at the end of the 2006 season and Ten Kate Honda just last year.
However, the Australian, who added he was close to a deal with Suzuki in British Superbikes, is happy to have landed on his feet again with an enticing new project.
“I thought I'd be riding in the British championship. I'd spoken to a couple of teams and I was close to doing something with Suzuki, but it was taking a while to get it over the line, so when this came up I jumped at it.
“This is where I have always wanted to be and it's good to be back, but we have a lot of work to do.”
A double World Supersport Champion, Pitt has also won one World Superbike race with Yamaha.