Richard Cooper returns to the MCE British Superbike championship in 2018 alongside Bradley Ray as the pair form Buildbase Suzuki’s rider line-up, while Billy McConnell will contest the Pirelli National Superstock 100 series for the team.

Cooper narrowly missed out on the Superstock 1000 crown this season to Danny Buchan and as a former BSB podium finisher he makes a comeback to the premier class next to the standout rookie of this season Ray.

After “a bitter pill” of moving back to Superstock this year, Cooper accepts it could be a move which he benefits from in 2018 thanks to a year of development with the new Suzuki GSX-R1000 and is relishing his return to BSB.

“I'm so excited to be a full time BSB rider again, it was a bitter pill to swallow for me moving back into Superstock this year but looking at the season, we had with the new Suzuki GSXR100 and the position I'm in now, you could say it was a good move,” Cooper said. “The team now have a year’s development behind the bike and even when they weren’t getting the results they deserved early in the season I knew how much potential was in the bike which showed at the end of the year.

“I was lucky enough to do the final two rounds of BSB so I've got a very good idea where the bike is compared to the other bike's on track. I know teaming up with Brad Ray we can deliver results, I have 5 BSB podiums to my name and I fully intend to make that more in 2018.”

After impressing with the second-string Suzuki squad, Ray has graduated to the official squad and is keen to build upon his impressive rookie campaign in BSB.

“I’m really happy to be re-signing for Suzuki, and stepping up to the official team,” Ray said. “Last season was obviously my first year on a superbike and it was a learning year for me, but we improved every time we went out and by the end of the year we could challenge for the top six regularly and also finished on the podium.

“With a year of experience under my belt and also a year of development complete for the team with the new GSX-R1000, I’m already looking forward to 2018, and the aim has got to be to keep improving and fight for the Showdown.”