With the news that Erik Buell Racing has ceased operations and will be headed into receivership, doubt has been cast on the company’s racing efforts in the World Superbike Championship. Allaying some fears, Team Manager and Rider Larry Pegram spoke to the WorldSBK.com website, saying that the team would indeed race in Assen, as planned.
“For Team Hero EBR, nothing has really changed,” Pegram said while speaking to WorldSBK.com. “We are going to be racing this weekend and we plan to continue for the season. All indications are that we are going to be able to do that. There is obviously some restructuring and financial stuff going on in the USA, but we are over here in Assen and getting ready for a good weekend.”
That being said, Team Hero EBR plans to issue a press release on Monday about its situation, in regards to the situation involving Erik Buell Racing. Since the WSBK program is funded directly by Hero, and not EBR, one would presume that the season will go ahead, again as planned, as Pegram indicated.
However, there is some doubts surrounding the situation, especially with homologation requirements for the fledgling WSBK team. Erik Buell Racing needs to produce 1,000 units by the end of the year to meet FIM homologation – with production shuttered for the time being, that target might not be attainable.
It is also conceivable, though less likely, that Team Hero could switch racing packages. With the EBR 1190RX so uncompetitive out of the box, the possibility of switching horses midstream is not one that can be automatically discounted.
For Hero MotoCorp, surely the goal is to attain marketing visibility in the premier production class, and with the Indian company cutting its funding to the Erik Buell Racing, its options are now unlimited in relation as to how to achieve that goal.
That being said, we expect Team Hero EBR to announce Monday its continued involvement in World Superbike, with Hero footing the team’s racing bill on the EBR 1190RX package. But as we learned this week, anything can happen.