Sylvain Barrier will attempt to become the first rider since James Ellison to successfully win back-to-back Superstock 1000 titles after retaining his factory-backed BMW ride.

In his fifth season of SSTK 1000 competition, the Frenchman claimed four race victories to see off challenges from Eddi La Marra and Bryan Staring to win BMW's second title in 2012.

However, having been unable to secure a competitive ride in World Superbikes for 2013, he has opted to stay and defend his crown.

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In doing so, Barrier will look to repeat the feat of James Ellison, who won the Superstock 1000 Cup in 2000 and 2001, though he faces stiff opposition from La Marra once again, as well as former MotoGP/WSBK rider Niccolo Canepa on their Barni Ducatis

"We know that it will be a big task to defend the title in such a fiercely-competitive championship. However, I am confident that we can achieve this goal with the overall package we have at BMW Motorrad,"

Joining him in the team will be three-time South African Superbike champion Greg Gildenhuys, who has secured a full-time campaign after an impressive one-off outing at Magny-Cours last year established him as an immediate front runner.

"I am already looking forward to the next chapter in my career. I would like to thank BMW Motorrad for this opportunity to ride on the international stage and will be out to repay the faith they have put in me, in the form of good results."