Jakub Smrz to replace Russo at Guandalini Racing

Thursday, 22 June 2017 13:57 GMT

Czech rider to make 2017 debut Laguna Seca

Jakub Smrz will make his return to the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship with Guandalini Racing in the Geico US Round at Laguna Seca, following Riccardo Russo’s departure from the team.

With 150 race starts and five podiums to his name in WorldSBK, Smrz is a very experienced rider within the paddock, and will provide the team with high levels of support throughout the eighth round of the season. His last appearance in the series was back in 2012, on board a Ducati machine but the 34 year old is keen to get back out on track.

In a statement from Mirco Guandalini, team manager, has expressed his disappointment of separating with Russo, but looks forward to racing once again with Smrz at the helm: “I'm really sorry we could not finish the season together. The team wishes Riccardo the best for his future, and we hope he can find a place where he can express his full potential.

But we now officially have Smrz riding with us at Laguna Seca , and we are very happy to recreate this combination – which has proven to be a strong collaboration in the past. We are aware that it will not be easy as Jakub does not know the track, and has only put in a few laps on our bike. We will hopefully be able to undergo some strong work together to help with the development of our bike.”

Smrz has expressed his delight of the news: “I’m very happy to join Guandalini Racing in Laguna Seca and I´m honoured to have this opportunity. And of course thanks PR Racing for allowing me to race in World Superbike whilst we have weekend off.  It won´t be easy as it´s different bike to the one I am currently racing, but I will do my best to learn new track quickly and help Guandalini Racing with R1 development. I´m very excited to be back in a familiar paddock again.”

Watch Smrz’s progress throughout the US WorldSBK weekend from 7th – 9th July, with race one live on Saturday at 14.00LT (GMT -7) which can be found on the WorldSBK VideoPass.