Shaun Muir has voiced his sadness at splitting from rider Josh Brookes having signed to become the factory-supported Aprilia squad in World Superbikes from 2017 with an all-new rider line-up of Eugene Laverty and Lorenzo Savadori.
The SMR Racing squad will have a brand new look for next season by switching from BMW to Aprilia machinery having signed a new two-year deal with the Italian manufacturer.
Having already signed Eugene Laverty ahead of the Aprilia deal, Muir's team has taken on Italian rookie Savadori which has left no room for both Brookes and Karel Abraham.
Muir has given his particular disappointment at seeing his team split from the Australian rider – having sealed the 2015 MCE British Superbike title together – but has wished Brookes well for the future as their partnership runs to a difficult end this year.
“I feel sad for Josh because we've not been able to get the best out of him with this package,” Muir told worldsbk.com
. “He has proven he's got the pace to race at the front – he's shown that on a domestic level and also at Suzuka – but I just don't think our package this year has suited him.
“For us it's a real shame; we're ending a three-year relationship during which we've won a domestic title together, but haven't got to where we wanted to be in the World Championship.
“We've got to close that chapter, wish him well and go off in our own directions, shaking hands and considering each other as friends.”
Muir has also wished Abraham well and is assured the Czech Republic rider will remain within the World Superbike paddock for 2017.
“Karel wanted to come out of MotoGP. World Superbike was a natural step for him. The rumours I'm hearing are that he'll stay in the paddock and he'll probably find a bike that suits him better,” he said. “We thank him for all of his efforts but it just hasn't worked out for the pair of our riders this year.
“It's been a learning year for all three of us, in one respect: for us as a team and certainly for those two as riders, entering for a full season in World Superbike. I'd like to see them both stay in the paddock and hopefully find teams they can progress with.”