By Christina Bulpett
Sylvain Barrier will make his World Superbike Championship debut at the season-ending Jerez round with BMW as a reward for winning back-to-back FIM Superstock 1000 Cups for the manufacturer.
The Frenchman had been tipped for a one-off outing with the BMW GoldBet team after becoming the first rider since James Ellison to pick up two consecutive Superstock 1000 titles one round early at Magny-Cours.
A long-awaited debut for a rider that has dominated the Superstock 1000 class over the past two years, he is delighted to be getting his chance.
"This is really great news! I am so excited that BMW has given me the chance to debut in World Superbike. This is the perfect present for my 25th birthday, which I will celebrate on Sunday at Jerez. The years with the BMW Motorrad GoldBet STK Team have been amazing, and for sure, this will be another highlight.
“It has always been my target to race in the Superbike World Championship and I want to thank BMW for making this reality. I will give my very best to pay BMW back for this great opportunity. I cannot wait to go to Jerez and to jump on the RR!"
Barrier's debut will coincide with BMW's swansong at World Superbike level, the manufacturer having announced it is withdrawing its full factory support from the end of the season.
Despite this, with two titles now to his name and two-time WSBK title winning mentor James Toseland spotted in deep discussions on his behalf within the paddock, the Frenchman is still chasing a full-time berth in the series next season.
"I've nothing really fixed [for next year] I need some more preparation to see which one is the best for the future, but I would like to be in Superbike with the best bike and to win the championship and after to move in MotoGP if I can,” he told Crash.net
Despite BMW's decision to withdraw its factory support, the manufacturer could still be represented next year, albeit in a privateer capacity, with BMW ambassador and former champion Troy Corser
rumoured to be setting up his own team with Barrier as one of the riders.