Erik Buell Racing has officially confirmed it will join the World Superbike Championship ranks in 2014 to become the first-ever American manufacturer to enter the series.
The firm, which has been racing in the AMA Superbike Championship for the past three seasons, will enter a pair of EBR 1190RX Superbikes for all-American rider pairing Aaron Yates and Geoff May, who competed with the manufacturer in 2013.
EBR's move into international competition comes courtesy of investment from prominent key partner Hero MotorCorp, India's largest two-wheel manufacturer, following the acquisition of a large stake in EBR earlier this year. As such, the team set to race under the 'Team Hero EBR' banner in 2014.
“We are delighted to announce our plans to compete in the 2014 World Superbike championship,” said team manager Giulio Bardi. “The entire team is excited and looking forward to the challenge ahead. Our riders Geoff and Aaron are both proven front runners within the AMA championship and will bring a wealth of riding experience to our campaign. We have a lot of work to do but when the lights go out for the opening race at Phillip Island in February, we will be ready.”
Bardi's views were reflected by riders Yates and May – who finished eighth and ninth respectively in the 2013 AMA Superbike Championship -, with both riders delighted to be making the jump.
“I'm delighted to remain with Team Hero EBR for 2014 and join them in moving to the World Superbike championship,” said Yates. “There will be a lot of new tracks to learn and a lot of data to collect, but we have a strong team with competent personnel so I am confident and excited to head to Australia where Geoff and I should both have a strong chance of scoring points in both races.”
“This coming season is a new chapter for us and I can't wait to get started,” added May. “We know that we have a big challenge ahead of us but we are all ready for it. I am not expecting to be at the sharp end immediately but am confident of featuring inside the points consistently and springing a surprise or two throughout the year.”
An exciting addition to the World Superbike grid following the confirmation that iconic Italian marque MV Agusta will also be competing in 2014, as many as eight manufacturers are expected to be represented on the grid next season.
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