Winchester-based Moto Rapido Ducati have confirmed they will run a two-bike team in partnership with the Saudi Falcons racing team in the 2012 British Superbike Championship.
Existing rider Scott Smart is to be joined by Saudi Falcons racer Abdulaziz Binladen and both will be riding the new 1199 Panigale. Ducati Corse have chosen to support Moto Rapido to race the new bike in the Superbike series, a first anywhere in the world, which is a far cry from their humble beginnings as a Superstock squad back in
The factory will prepare the 1199 with a Superbike chassis sporting a Superstock motor and new spec-electronics will come from the team using Smart’s knowhow.
“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,” said team owner Steve Moore.
“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.”
Smart added: “I’ve been looking forward to this season since the Evo rules were first mentioned. 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, only the hospitality
suite and motorhome competition can be won by cash now.”
Binladen said: “I’m very proud to take part in BSB for what Saudi Falcons see as the fastest-growing Superbike series in the world. This season, history will be made with the first collaboration between a Saudi 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.”