Aaron Yates (above) and Geoff May (below) will ride for the Erik Buell Racing World Superbike Team in 2014.
Erik Buell Racing teased that it would enter the World Superbike Championship in 2014 during its debut of the new production model 1190RX at the AIMExpo in October 2013. Now comes official word that the 2014 Team Hero EBR will campaign World Superbike with two riders, Geoff May and Aaron Yates. The EBR squad will be run by Team Owner Claudio Quintarelli and Team Manager Giulio Bardi.
May and Yates rode side-by-side in the 2013 AMA Pro Road Racing SuperBike series in 2013, with May finishing fifth in the standings and Yates ending the year eighth. This will be May’s first foray into full-time international competition, but he’s been racing in American series since 2000 when he contested the WERA SouthEast Heavyweight Twins Expert class. Yates is a veteran racer with a long history in the AMA series, starting back in 1993 in 750 Supersport. The Georgia native has multiple AMA titles to his credit though, like May, this will be his first full international race season.
May and Yates will run the new 1190RX, which features 426 newly developed parts and claims 185 horsepower and 101 lb-ft of torque.
EBR enters World Superbike with support from Hero MotorCorp, with the Indian manufacturer having bought a 49.2% stake in the American company. Hero has been a major sponsor of EBR’s race program in America during recent years and EBR provided design and engineering assistance for Hero’s product line in India. Since then Hero has announced it will debut a selection of mounts in the US sometime in 2014. There’s no word yet if or when EBR-branded mounts will be available in India.
Erik Buell, Founder of EBR Motorcycles, said in a press release announcing the WSBK effort: “More than three decades of racing, engineering, and manufacturing experience goes into every EBR motorcycle. The EBR 1190RX has some very unique engineering technology, and how to optimize this for each race series is something that takes time to learn. With the winter testing ban, we will have to wait and see where we are in terms of current pace and performance. Nobody is expecting podiums, but we will be hard at work, learning and improving. We are confident EBR will bring a fun and exciting story to the series, and know the results will come.”
Mr. Pawan Munjal, Managing Director & CEO of Hero MotorCorp Ltd added: “We are delighted to be partnering with EBR at the Superbike World Championship this year. Hero is the first Indian two-wheeler brand to be associated with this event and this is also the debut year for Team Hero EBR at the series. This is in perfect sync with brand Hero’s fast-paced global expansion into new international markets. I am sure it is going to be a lot of fun and we do look forward to some exciting times at the championships this year.”
“It is a great pleasure for WSBK to welcome an attractive and unique brand like EBR to the series,” said Javier Alonso, World Superbike Executive Director. “The American Manufacturer is the eighth different brand to compete in this new and challenging edition of the Championship, and we are equally confident that their involvement will add to the show. Moreover, it is really good to have two American riders on the starting grid again representing a strong nationality in the history of the series.”