British Superbikes: Louth rider Peter Hickman stays loyal to Smiths Racing
The pair will contest the Bennetts British Superbike Championship for the Gloucester-based team aboard the brand-new Smiths Racing BMW S1000RR.
The Louth rider remains with Alan and Rebecca Smith’s team for a third successive season, having finished fifth in the 2018 series, with a double podium finish at Thruxton, and qualifying as a Showdown contender for the second year running.
Joining him will be the experienced Ellison, who has just missed out on the title in the past and is hoping his bad luck of recent seasons is past , allowing him and to challenge for the crown, alongside Hickman.
Hickman said: “I’m absolutely over the moon to be staying with Smiths Racing for 2019.
“Myself, Rebecca, Alan and all the team get on so well and really gel, as our results prove, so staying with them was always what I wanted.
“Smiths Racing have given me a fantastic bike and I’m surrounded by a perfect team.
“We click, and what we have is producing great results.”
He added: “I’ve worked with James before in 2016 and we got on great. He helped me a lot that year and I really think we’ll motivate and push each other.
“He’s a championship contender and so am I, so between us we have one of the strongest teams on the grid and to say I’m excited is an understatement.
“Along with all that, we have the new Smiths BMW S1000RR which looks absolutely stunning and I can’t wait to throw my leg over it in testing before it gets real at BSB.”
Team Manager Rebecca Smith said: “It’s fantastic to get our plans sorted early so we can concentrate all our efforts on the 2019 season.
“Peter has again done a brilliant job for us both at BSB and on the roads this year, so we are delighted to work with him again next year for a third successive season.
“James is a top quality BSB rider with huge amounts of experience which will be a massive help in developing the new bike and ensuring both sides of the garage are competitive.
“There is a refreshing buzz about the impending season within the team and we are really looking forward to testing in readiness for the opening round at Silverstone next Easter.”