Jakub Smrz will make his first return to the World Superbike championship since 2012 for Guandalini Yamaha after Riccardo Russo's exit from the team.

Smrz, who currently competes for Lloyds & Jones/PR Racing BMW in the MCE British Superbike championship, will make an initial one-off outing for Guandalini Yamaha at the iconic US track before the series takes its mid-season break.

The Czech Republic rider is an experienced hand in WorldSBK with 150 race starts and five podiums to his name but his last outing in the series came back in 2012 on a Ducati, while he returns to the squad he competed for in the 2008 and 2009 World Superbike championships.

"I'm very happy to join Guandalini Racing in Laguna Seca and I?m honoured to have this opportunity," Smrz said. "And of course thanks PR Racing for allowing me to race in World Superbike whilst we have weekend off.

"It won?t be easy as it?s different bike to the one I am currently racing, but I will do my best to learn new track quickly and help Guandalini Racing with R1 development. I?m very excited to be back in a familiar paddock again."

Mirco Guandalini, team manager, has expressed his sadness at splitting from Russo but at the same time is thrilled to welcome back Smrz to his garage.

"I'm really sorry Russo could not finish the season together," Guandalini said. "The team wishes Riccardo the best for his future, and we hope he can find a place where he can express his full potential.

"But we now officially have Smrz riding with us at Laguna Seca , and we are very happy to recreate this combination - which has proven to be a strong collaboration in the past.

"We are aware that it will not be easy as Jakub does not know the track, and has only put in a few laps on our bike. We will hopefully be able to undergo some strong work together to help with the development of our bike."

Smrz is currently 18th in the BSB championship for Lloyd & Jones/PR Racing BMW.

Laguna Seca hosts round eight of the 2017 World Superbike championship on the 7-9 July.



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