Larry Pegram believes Niccolo Canepa is the ideal person to lead Erik Buell Racing to greater success in 2015 as it launches a renewed attack on the World Superbike Championship.

EBR made history by becoming the first American manufacturer to compete in World Superbikes in 2014, but the 1190RX struggled for pace in the hands of Geoff May and Aaron Yates, with neither rider scoring a point for the factory team.

Despite this, EBR did get off the mark as a manufacturer courtesy of Pegram, who entered a privateer 1190RX for his home Laguna Seca WSBK round, picking up two points with a 14th place finish.

As a result, EBR has reorganised its effort for 2015, bringing in Pegram to act as rider-manager and securing the signature of experienced former MotoGP racer Niccolo Canepa, who switches from Althea Ducati.

Indeed, Pegram is delighted to have the Italian on board, believing his knowledge of the circuits and extensive feedback will prove critical in hauling EBR further up the field.

"I think it's going to be very exciting next year - Niccolo has experience of the tracks and that's going to be a big help, as he will know his way around from the first lap. He is great to work with and his feedback is very good. I know the bike very well, so I really feel that we can move this amazing project along."

Canepa and Pegram have already completed two private tests in the United States at the NOLA and Jennings tracks with a modified version of Pegram's AMA machine. Notably, however, EBR will be present for the upcoming European pre-season tests this month, a stark contrast to 2014 when the bike didn't turn its first wheel until it reached the Australian opener.

"We were using my bikes from 2014, with full World Superbike spec suspension, Pirelli tires and 'fly-by-wire' electronics. Over the tests, we swapped bikes from time to time and that was very interesting because Niccolo and I had virtually the same comments and feedback.

"Of course, there's a lot of work to do before next season starts, but these tests have been extremely encouraging and now we're all looking forward to our next time on the track."

 

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