Milwaukee BMW team boss Shaun Muir says he believes that his riders, reigning MCE British Superbike champion Josh Brookes and former Grand Prix race winner Karel Abraham, can fight for podiums this year as the team step up to World Superbikes.
Speaking to worldsbk.com, the former racer turned team boss admits that although they might struggle in the early rounds of the championship, he has no reservations that their time will come.
“I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that we will be competitive when we reach the European rounds. Come round three, when we have had a bit more time, we can be competitive. Can we win the championship? No. Let’s be realistic. Can we compete for podium positions? I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that we can.
“I just hope Karel can replicate his form from some of his better times in MotoGP. It is difficult to measure where these guys are. I measure Karel like this: in MotoGP this year he has been on a similar bike to what Nicky Hayden and Eugene Laverty have been on and, when he has been fit, he has not been a million miles from them. I’m not going to big him up because, of course, the proof will be in the pudding.
“He has got to switch from Bridgestone to Pirelli tyres. He is going from a GP chassis to what is effectively a production chassis. There are a lot of question marks hanging over him, but if your expectations are not too high I think you can show some surprises.”
The team will make their BMW debut later this month, testing alongside their opposition at Jerez on the 26th and 27th of January and at Aragon on the 3rd and 4th of February before flying to Australia for the opening round of the series at Philip Island.