Howie Mainwaring-Smart has parted ways with the Smiths Racing BMW ahead of tomorrow’s two MCE Insurance British Superbike races at Thruxton.
The former race winner has endured a torrid start to the season with the Gloucester squad as he struggled to get to grips with switching to the BMW S1000RR from Kawasaki’s ZX-10R this season.
Having relentlessly searched for improvements with the team over the first six rounds, things came to ahead at Thruxton as he failed to qualify for the first stage of qualifying on Saturday morning. After discussions with the team, both parties came to a mutual arrangement to terminate their agreement.
Exemplifying the amicable split, Smiths’ BMW have told Mainwaring he can take part in tomorrow’s two races should he choose to do so before departing the team.
“Everything we've tried this year hasn't worked for whatever reason and I just haven't gelled with the BMW so it's not fair of me to waste the team's time,” he said. “I'm a bit embarrassed as we should be achieving a lot more, definitely top 15 and maybe even top tens. The most frustrating aspect is that we've all worked incredibly hard but haven't been able to pinpoint the main problem. It's difficult to stand down and the last thing I wanted to do was walk away but it's time to take a step back and see where we go from here. I've got to say a massive thank you to Alan and Rebecca Smith for giving me such a great opportunity and also to the team who have never stopped working for me from day one.”
Team manager, Rebecca Smith added: “It’s been a difficult first half of the season and we are not where we want to be. Howie has been very honest with us and we admire him for that and thank him and for his hard work this season. We genuinely wish him well for the future. We are very happy to honour our commitment and if Howie wants to race tomorrow, we will fully support him as well as Jakub and Luke. We have no plans to field a replacement rider at this stage.”
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