The off-season ordeals of Anthony West appear to be over, as the Australian will campaign the 2012 season aboard the Supersonic BMW in British Superbike.
It’s been a long road to BSB for West. The 30-year-old lost his spot on the ‘12 MotoGP grid back in January due to a lack of sponsorship. West’s seat on the Aprilia-based Speed Master CRT was taken by Italian Mattia Pasini. Investigating other options, West was then linked to BSB as a replacement for the injured Ian Hutchinson at Swan Yamaha. However, Noriyuki Haga would end of confirmed as the Swan replacement.
“I am really glad to finally have a ride and not have to pay for the privilege,” said West in a Supersonic team statement. “The last few weeks have been mentally really hard for me. After I lost my chance to come back to MotoGP because I couldn’t find a sponsor to bring to the team, I was really disappointed about the direction my sport is going and I was ready to quit racing bikes. But at this point I really have to say thanks to my fans!
West’s off-season drama played out on his Twitter and Facebook social media sites, where his fans followed the turmoil. At one point the Aussie hinted at possible retirement.
“I honestly didn’t know I had so many people following me and believing in me, ready to support me also in the bad times. They definitely gave me the will to keep trying. Now my fans and I have to say a big ‘THANK YOU’ to Danilo Soncini, the SuperSonic Team Manager, for giving me the chance to ride on a bike that I think can win races. This will be my only goal.”
The fresh BSB start for West mirrors the fortunes of his new team. Supersonic Racing marks its return to racing, and BSB debut, after having exited the World Superbike series in 2011 (Supersonic Withdraws from World Superbike). Owned by Danilo Soncini Supersonic supported a single-rider satellite Ducati effort for two seasons, with Luca Scassa in 2010 and Maxime Berger in 2011 (Scassa also landed a BSB ride, for Padgetts Honda, with Berger remaining in SBK for ’12).