BEMSEE Powerbike champ Joe Morphett has announced a change in his 2018 agenda as he moves focus toward the Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup series.
The reigning club king had originally made plans to take on the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 series after a number of wildcards in the British Superbike Championship support paddock last year.
But after winter testing and internal team discussions brought to light additional options, Morphett and ASJ Racing have confirmed they’ll instead focus on the fledgling Ducati Cup with their own Panigale 959.
Spearheaded by Berkshire entrepreneur Andrew Johnston, himself a multi-podium finisher in the Rookie 1000 ranks in 2017, ASJ has been involved in the BSB paddock for more than six years from rider support to title sponsors under the businessman’s ePayMe company banner.
Following a test on the Ducati at Jerez late last season, Morphett and co decided it would behove them to mount a campaign in the the one-make series ahead of a full Superstock 1000 assault in 2019.
And it doesn’t stop there – Johnston plans to take his ASJ Racing squad all the way to the blue riband British Superbike class in 2020.
Morphett admits he’s new to two cylinders, but is relishing the opportunity in his first full year outside of the clubs.
“It will be a new challenge as I’ve not ridden a twin before, but I feel it will suit my riding style,” he said.
“I’m really looking forward to throwing a leg over my ASJ Racing bike in Valencia this week, and we will hopefully get a good base so I can hit the ground running at Round One.”
While Johnston says he recognises Morphett’s potential, he insists they’re maintaining a realistic outlook for their first attempt at the hotly-contested Ducati championship.
“From our first race weekend together, I knew I had discovered a young talent that warranted backing,” he said. “Joe knows what he needs to do and I’m certain he will bring his A game to every round and give his best.
“We are not unrealistic in our quest to challenge for the championship, but likewise, we will be sure to enjoy this experience, no matter where we finish.”
*Main image: John Manclark
*Side image: ASJ Racing