Former British Superbike Championship rider David Johnson has announced that he will race as a wild-card during the opening round of the 2012 World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island next month.

Johnson, who participated in the National Superstock 1000 Championship last season, will ride a BMW S1000RR prepared by Rossair AEP Racing on home soil before returning to the UK for the remainder of the 2012 season.

Rossair AEP Racing comes to the WSBK stage armed with the S1000RR that was campaigned by the Buildbase team during the 2011 British Superbike Championship, and has already begun testing the machine ahead of its racing bow on an international platform.

For Johnson, who competed at BSB EVO level in 2010 and was named the fastest newcomer on the Isle of Man TT in the same year, the opportunity to race on the WSBK stage is one he is relishing.

"I'm stoked to be able to kick off my 2012 race plans on what should be a very competitive bike at a track where I know we can perform", said the Leicestershire based 28 year-old Aussie.

"I returned to my home town of Adelaide to escape the English winter and train for the 2012 season but I never expected we would be in a position to front up for Round One of World Superbikes!"

"Although my WSBK bike is a more developed machine, I know that I feel very comfortable on the bike and it suits my riding style. I have raced a few years of British Superbike but never on competitive bikes and have delivered top 10 results so get this opportunity on such a well prepared bike is great and I can't wait to get out there.

"We have put together a great team with great technical know-how and experience - we don't want to be there just to make up the numbers. I know how tough the WSBK is but it is our aim to get into the points."

Johnson's wild-card means as many as 25 riders are expected to make the grid for the opening round at Phillip Island next month, the Rossair AEP machine bringing the BMW contingent up to six.

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