Emmett and Brown to join £2 million squad
Sean Emmett and Paul Brown are in line to lead a £2 million British Superbike team this year.
The pair are set to join a four-man squad, with two riders on Ducati 996s and another two on GSX-R1000s.
It will be run by Ray Stringer, who has put a deposit on the four V-twins run by Emmett’s old Reve team last year. He also claims to have sourced four 2002-spec Testastretta engines to slot into them.
MCN columnist Stringer said: " This team will be big news for the championship. The budget is in place and I’ve spoken to both Sean and Paul about riding for us. But until I get the OK from my sponsors, I can’t confirm anything. We’ll make an announcement on Friday. "
Emmett sees this offer as his No1 option out of three possibilities. He also has the prospect of a Honda ride in BSB or an NCR Ducati in WSB, but he’d have to take money to both. He said: " It would be good riding my old bike again, especially if it was upgraded with a Testastretta engine. I still reckon the 998 will be the bike to beat in this year’s series, but I’m keeping my options open just in case we can’t agree a deal. "
Brown, who finished fifth overall on a Ducati last year, added: " It’s good that I’ll be on a Ducati again. I made a lot of progress last year and it will be a benefit being able to stick with the same type of bike. It sounds like a dream team. Ray has a loads of technical knowledge and the team has big ideas. "
But Stringer’s plans have been met with scepticism in the paddock. Virgin Yamaha boss Rob McElnea told MCN: " It’ll be great if it happens. We need riders like Sean and Paul in the series. But it’s hard enough running a two-man team with factory backing. "
Stringer and his backers plan to take the team to WSB within three years, which is why they will be running a two-man " junior " squad on Suzukis. Former Superstock rider Jamie Morley, 26, is lined up for one of them.
If Emmett and Brown do join, it will be a double blow for MotoPower Honda. Team boss Russell Savory has been speaking to both about riding his FireBlades.
Matt Llewellyn, who was fourth overall in the British Supersport series last year on an R6, is now in the frame and is due to test this week.