Isle of Man-based Team IMR have today announce they will mount their first campaign in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship in 2018 with the ambitious outfit having signed Chrissy Rouse and Jordan Gilbert.
The duo will ride identically-prepared BMW S1000RRs with the former Mission Racing team-mates making their debut with the team at Jurby Airfield earlier today.
Owned and managed by Manxman Ian Moffitt, the team have signalled their ambitions for 2018 by securing the services of Rouse, the Newcastle youngster having finished in an excellent fourth overall this year.
The 22-year old was a constant front runner and regularly challenged for the race wins, unluckily missing out on the victory at Silverstone in September when he crashed whilst leading on the final lap. But with six podiums during the course of the season, and 15 top six finishes in total, he’ll head into 2018 as one of the title favourites.
Gilbert, meanwhile, excelled in the Pirelli National Superstock 600 Championship where, like Rouse, he ran at the head of the field all season on his R6 Yamaha. Three victories at Knockhill, Thruxton and Silverstone and five additional top six finishes enabled the New Denham rider to finish in an excellent second overall. 2018 will be the 21-year old’s debut in the 1000cc class.
“I’m really excited to have signed for Team IMR and to have everything in place for 2018 so early is terrific. 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,” said Rouse.
“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. Keeping Steve is a massive boost as he’s a tremendous help to me so with an ambitious team whose goals match my own, I’m confident we’re going to have a great season together.”
Gilbert added: “I’m delighted to be joining Team IMR and, having enjoyed a strong year in 2017 in the Superstock 600cc class, it’s a tremendous opportunity for me. This year went above and beyond my expectations and we enjoyed a lot of success so to continue alongside Chrissy and Steve in my first year in the 1000cc class will make for a smooth transition. It’s a new class and a new bike for me but I’ll be able to tap into their knowledge and the continuity will mean I can concentrate on my riding. Ian’s put together a great team and it’s nice to have everything sorted so soon so I’m really excited about 2018 and I can’t wait to get going.”