After losing his ride in MotoGP merely weeks ago, Australian Anthony West will be joining the Supersonic Racing squad in the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship. The former Grand Prix race winner will join Italian Supersonic Racing team along with Switzerland’s Patric Muff in the premier British championship.
West, who has competed at the top level of Grand Prix racing during his career, saw his 2012 MotoGP hopes get cut short when he failed to come up with the necessary funding required to gain a seat on the Speed Master CRT team in MotoGP this year.
At the time, it appeared as though the Australian, who has secured five podium finishes in the 250cc Grand Prix class, including a win at Assen, would no longer be racing in 2012.
According to a post from West on his Facebook page, “I will not race in Moto GP this year or any other race because I can not find sponsorship to pay the Speed Master team. Because all teams are asking for money from the riders only the rich can race in MotoGP/ Moto2 / Moto3. I cannot even afford to ride a year for free, as I have yet to be payed from my former team MZ Germany Moto2 team. I had my car, mx bike and my house for sale trying to keep the ride and even gave the house as a guarantee if I did not find the money but was not enough. I will most likely not race anymore and will retune back to Australia to find a normal job. Sorry to my fans.”
Supersonic Racing team owner Danilo Soncini jumped at the chance to sign the experienced West. While the Supersonic team announced their retirement from the World Superbike Championship in September 2011, their decision to enter BSB represents a renewed enthusiasm for the sport and it seems Anthony West will bring a great deal of experience to the team.
According to West, “It has been a difficult couple of weeks for me; I obviously lost the ride in MotoGP and before then I hadn’t looked outside of that paddock. I looked at what John (Hopkins) had done by racing in BSB last year and I thought it could be a good move for me. I don’t know a lot of the tracks, but I have experience of learning fast from the different championships I have raced in before. It will also be a new experience riding the BMW Superbike so it is exciting for me; the competition this year looks like it will be the best it has ever been in BSB so it will be a new challenge. My fans have been a great support to me and it was also their reaction of wanting to see me race in BSB that pushed me to continue my racing career.”
The team will compete aboard BMW S1000RR superbikes, provided by BMW Motorrad Italia.
With so many top names joining British Superbike this year, among them Nori Haga, Anthony West and multiple Italian Champion Alex Polita, to name a few, the MCE BSB series will be one to watch this year. It also appears to be one of the only series remaining where riders are not expected to bring (as much) money to the table.