3 June 2014
PTR confirms plans to make WSBK or BSB move
Supersport team PTR will move into Superbike racing next season, though it is yet to be determined whether it will compete in WSBK or in BSB.
Simon Buckmaster has confirmed PTR will switch to Superbike racing in 2015, though he is yet to decide whether it will enter the World Superbike Championship or the British Superbike Championship.
Currently competing in the World Supersport Championship under the Core PTR and CIA Insurance PTR banner, Buckmaster says he is finding it increasingly difficult to secure backing to just compete at Supersport level.
As such, he has chosen to make the move into Superbike racing in 2015, most likely with a sole privateer Honda CBR1000RR, whilst also retaining a reduced foothold at Supersport level.
“It seems to be earlier every year but we find ourselves looking to 2015 and it is only just about June,” he said, speaking in his latest 'Simon Says…' column. “In our case this is because we have decided the only way forward for us is to run at least one bike in the Superbike class.
“I am sure we will remain with Honda as we all see this as a good challenge and we are sure we can build a competitive bike. At this stage I would like to say we will also run at least one Supersport bike as we have the machinery and expertise to continue with this at the same time as developing our Superbike. The two reasons we will do this are the obvious ambition to move up a class and show what we can do there but also it is becoming increasingly hard to find the necessary backing to compete solely in Supersport.
For the time being however, it is yet to be determined whether PTR will step up to WSBK or make the switch to BSB racing next season, with Buckmaster uncertain whether incoming regulation changes at international level will allow his entry to be competitive compared with competing at a national level.
“The only question now is in which Championship we should compete in,” he continued. “Of course to stay at World level is always a good thing and I like the sound of the new proposed rules. That said it would be nice to see all rules strictly enforced, although I do understand this can be hard with the influence of various factories. We need to see what the rules will be at World level then we know what we are dealing with.
“I have to also say we are interested in BSB. I have had talks with Stuart Higgs and their view on working commercially with teams is very refreshing indeed. Also, we have to look at the final World Rules and ask ourselves if we can really compete and can we find the backing to do so.
“Of course as we all know with BSB rules, all teams can compete if you have all the ingredients, which are the right budget, good management, good staff, a good bike and a good rider. Miss any one of these and it will be a struggle. To be honest we have found this in World Supersport. After so many successful years we are working now really hard to compete on a very tight budget. I would really like to thank CIA Insurance without whom this year simply would not be happening. Their support on whatever is our final decision will be crucial.”
Though PTR has endured a tough 18 months in WSS, it has enjoyed significant success overall in recent years, most notably its run to the runners-up spot in 2009, 2010 and 2012 with Eugene Laverty and Jules Cluzel.
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