Moto Rapido confirms its BSB line-up
The experienced Scott Smart and Saudi Arabian racer Abdulaziz Binladin will ride the new Ducati 1199 Panigale for Moto Rapido in 2012.
Moto Rapido Ducati has become the latest team to confirm its rider line-up for the 2012 MCE British Superbike Championship, with Scott Smart being joined by Saudi Arabian racer Abdulaziz Binladin.
Having already confirmed its plans to give the much anticipated Ducati 1199 Panigale its BSB debut in 2012 with assistance from Ducati Corse, Moto Rapido have now announced that Smart will stay for another season, while Qatar International Road Racing Championship race winner Abdulaziz Binladin will ride the second bike.
Smart, who finished fifth in the 2011 BSB EVO standings and has been racing alongside Binladin in the QIRRC over the winter, is excited about the prospect of a level playing field brought on by the revised technical regulations.
"I've been looking forward to this season since the new rules were first mentioned," said Smart, who also raced with Moto Rapido in SSTK 1000 in 2009 and 2010. "All the bikes are basically the same, save for some idiosyncrasies here and there so it is all down to the rider, the tyre and the conditions.
"As always, the fast riders will be fast but we aren't constrained by not having expensive electronics anymore. Everyone is in the same boat in terms of machinery and that's really exciting."
Binladin, meanwhile, is the latest is a list of international names to join the BSB ranks in 2012, the Saudi Arabian rider having enjoyed a race-winning turn on the QIRRC stage.
"I'm very proud to take part in BSB," he said. "This season, history will be made with the first collaboration between a Saudi (Saudi Falcons Racing) and a British racing team and I do understand that this is going to be a challenge for me. I will do my very best to learn as much and as fast as I can, I'm also confident that I have a great team and good support behind me which will make my job easier."
Moto Rapido team owner Steve Moore is thrilled to be stepping up to the championship class for the first time as one of just two Ducati-supported teams on the BSB grid in 2012
"The playing field for 2012 is level and it has never been more level in the history of the series. We have one of the most experienced riders on the grid who is also a British champion. With Ducati's help and the backing of our main sponsor Solent Scientific, there is no reason we can't be giving last year's frontrunners a hard time. The move up to the BSB championship is a big one and something I am very proud of.
"We were very happy to become an Elite team for 2012. The new team rules require us to have two riders, this has sparked several partnerships already. This is great progress, There are many teams who would normally be restricted to just one rider who are now joining resources and expertise to become stronger and more stable.
"For us, the Saudi Falcons team partnership was an ideal solution and allowed us to progress the team. We welcome their rider."
Moto Rapido's rider confirmation means just three seats remain available on the provisional BSB grid, at Quay Garage Honda and PR Kawasaki.