Shaun Muir Racing’s move to Aprilia marks the end to a challenging debut season in the Superbike World Championship. Under the guise of Milwaukee BMW, it’s been a tough year for the squad as they have struggled to form a consistently competitive package with the S1000RR and riders Josh Brookes and Karel Abraham.
Initially expecting to be competing for the top ten, team boss Shaun Muir has struggled to hide his disappointment with how their debut panned out and, determined to turn things around for 2017, began talks with Aprilia as far back as May.
“We are 100% committed to being successful in World Superbikes,” he told MCN. “I haven’t come to WSB not to be in contention and to do that you have to be factory supported.
“We have a level of factory support from BMW but when it came down to it, of the three riders we first approached about 2017 none of them would have been in a position to sign for us if we were with BMW. However, moving to Aprilia moved us to the top of people’s lists and that’s shown with the fact Eugene has opted to leave MotoGP to come and ride for us.
“Aprilia know they can win in World Superbikes with a good team alongside them and I genuinely believe SMR, Aprilia and Eugene is a package that can fight for the championship.”
Muir’s deal with Aprilia will see a number of personnel from the Noale factory join the SMR team for 2017, a clear step up from the relationship the Guisborough outfit has had with BMW over the past year.
“We will end up with some personnel from Aprilia, engineers, telemetry guys etc and they will build four bikes for us, provide all of our electronics, engines etc while we manage and run the operation. It’s not a factory team ran from Noale, it’s a factory supported team, so the Aprilia guys will be integrated in with my tight knit team.”
Joining Eugene Laverty in the all-new Milwaukee Aprilia squad will be Italian youngster Lorenzo Savadori, who has impressed aboard the IODA Aprilia this season.
“As soon as we started talking to Aprilia we started talking to Lorenzo and that’s not because it was a pre-requisite, but because of my desire to sign him. What he’s done on the IODA Aprilia this year has been nothing short of sensational and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him on the podium by the end of this year.”
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