ISLE of Man-based Team IMR has announced it will enter the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship for the first time in 2018, after signing Chrissy Rouse and Jordan Gilbert.
The duo – who will ride identically-prepared BMW S1000RR machines – made their team debut earlier today in a test at Jurby Airfield.
Team IMR made its first foray into the championship towards the end of 2017, with Joe Collier contesting the final two rounds at Oulton Park and Brands Hatch.
Owned and managed by Manxman Ian Moffitt, the team has signalled its ambitions for 2018 by securing the services of Rouse, who finished fourth in the 2017 championship.
The 22-year old was a consistent front runner and regularly challenged for the race wins, racking up six podiums during the course of the season, and 15 top six finishes in total.
Gilbert, meanwhile, excelled in the Pirelli National Superstock 600 Championship, scoring three victories on the way to finishing the season second overall.
Philip McLaughlin, previously with TAS Racing, will be the team’s crew chief, and former National Superstock champion, Steve Brogan, will continue as mentor to both Rouse and Gilbert, having carried out a similar role during 2017.
“I’m really excited to have signed for Team IMR and to have everything in place for 2018 so early is terrific,” said Chrissy. “I learnt a lot in 2017 and was close to the lap record at each circuit but I know there’s plenty more to come from me so I want to be challenging for the title in 2018.
“In the second half of this season I was expecting to run at the front but I know I can still make improvements, both on and off the track, and with such a strong package in place at Team IMR, I’m confident we’ve got the tools to do the job.
Ian Moffitt, Team Owner added: “We’re delighted to have signed Jordan and Chrissy for Team IMR and both lads are talented young riders with huge potential for success.
“Chrissy will be a title challenger from the start and Jordan has the ability to develop into a title contender with time and the right working environment around him. It’s great to have our plans in place so early and we’re looking forward to a good winter testing schedule that allows both riders plenty of time on the bikes so we turn up at the first round on the pace.
“I’d like to thank Keith Gilbert, Martin Rouse and Steve Brogan for all their help in getting the deal sorted with the riders along with Evolution Camping, HEL Performance, RST Moto Direct & Rage Designs.”
Images: Dave Kneen