Soomer to make WorldSBK debut as he stands in for Syahrin at MIE Honda

Thursday, 27 July 2023 08:06 GMT

The ‘Baltic Bullet’ returns to the WorldSBK paddock after several seasons in WorldSSP, where he was a podium contender, to replace the injured Hafizh Syahrin

Hannes Soomer will make a return to the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship paddock at the Autodrom Most as he makes his WorldSBK debut with the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team. The Estonian will stand in for Malaysia’s Hafizh Syahrin as he continues to recover from injuries sustained in a crash while testing for the Suzuka 8 Hours, and the 25-year-old is no stranger to the CBR1000RR-R machine as he competes with Honda in the German championship.

Known as the ‘Baltic Bullet’, Soomer competed in both the European Junior Cup and WorldSSP between 2013 and 2022 inside the WorldSBK paddock. His best EJC campaign came in 2016 as he took two wins and finished sixth in the standings, before moving up to WorldSSP for a full-time campaign after several one-off appearances in 2015 and 2016.

He recorded only one top-ten Championship finish in WorldSSP, which was in 2020, and that was the year he made history in WorldSSP. Soomer became the first Estonian rider to stand on the podium with a total of three to his name, in both races at Magny-Cours and in Race 1 at Estoril, before finishing 12th in 2021 and 13th in 2022 in the standings. Last season, he competed with the PTR Triumph squad as they made a return to WorldSSP as part of the Next Generation ruleset, although it was teammate Stefano Manzi who took the team’s sole win.

After missing out on a ride in the World Championship, Soomer switched his attention to the IDM, the German national championship, where he rides this season for Honda. He has already raced at Most this season, taking third on the grid and finishing in the same position in the first race on the CBR1000RR-R. Now, he will put his IDM Superbike experience to use on the world stage as he looks to impress in the Czech Republic.

Talking about his debut, where he will race alongside Eric Granado, Soomer said: “I am happy to be making my debut in WorldSBK with the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team this weekend and I am looking forward to being back in the WorldSBK paddock.  I know I will have to adapt to the bike quickly, but Most is a fun track, and I am up for the challenge!”

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