SMR will return to international road racing after signing an agreement with title sponsor Gulf Oil International.
The newly-formed Gulf BMW Road Racing Team has signed Australian rider David Johnson. Joining the SMR team gives ‘Davo’ an opportunity to contest the 2018 Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy with a competitive package using the team’s former BMW World Superbikes.
Gulf BMW will also compete in the 2018 North West 200 road races and a select number of British Superbike rounds. The outfit will field BMW S1000RRs in the RL360 Quantum Superstock, RST Superbike and PokerStars Senior TT Races at the Isle of Man TT as well as the NW200 races, with podiums and a potential victory the primary goals.
Ahead of competitive running in May/June, a busy test schedule is planned for early 2018 in Spain, which will be key for Johnson to dial in to the bikes and put himself and the team in prime competitive condition.
Mats Nilsson, Team Manager, Gulf BMW Road Racing team, said:
“SMR and Gulf Oil International have joined forces to deliver this exciting new project with the BMW S1000 RR, which has a proven winning record around the Isle of Man TT Mountain Course in both Superbike and Superstock trim. Both parties are currently in partnership with SMR’s WorldSBK team and this relationship has been developed with a view to a long-term roads campaign.”
“The Gulf BMW team is partnered by SGS, Feadship, Matseco USA Inc, Akrapovic and B&C Express. With a strong team effort and the level of support the team has attained over the winter, we are confident we can do our sponsors justice and also provide Davo with competitive bikes in both the Superbike and Superstock categories.”
“The team begin testing in Spain on 12th March, which will be a very important period for us. We know what the bike is capable of and what Davo can do, so we are looking forward to some track running and to the beginning of the new Gulf BMW road racing campaign.”
Dave Johnson said:
“I’m very excited to be back racing on a BMW with the full technical support of SMR and BMW Motorrad Motosport. The bikes will be as good as they can possibly be, and I am confident this package can push me to the next level at the TT.”
“We also have the exciting challenge of the North West 200 before the TT. It will be my first competitive outing on the Gulf BMW so there is a lot of preparation to do, but I can’t wait to see what the team can do.”
“We have a full testing program scheduled in early 2018 so we will definitely hit the ground running come first practice at the 2018 TT races. I did my fastest lap on a BMW at the TT in 2015 [131.595mph] so this year with factory spec bikes will be a big year for me, and I will make it count.”