Macdonell joining PMR/Vass Performance BMW for sophomore CSBK season

Paul Macdonell will be switching brands ahead of his second season in the Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship, joining PMR/Vass Performance Cycle BMW for the 2024 campaign.

The new program will feature a number of changes from Macdonell’s rookie season in 2023, where he took the Pro Rookie of the Year fight down to the final race of the year before finishing tenth in the overall standings, helping win the Team of the Year award in the process. 

The Grande Prairie, Alberta native will switch from a Yamaha YZF-R1 to a more modern BMW S1000RR for his second season, a bike that won nine championships in 12 years since its debut in Canada in 2010. 

The project will come with crucial title support from Vass Performance Cycle, the same outfit that has helped Ben Young to three championships for BMW in the last five seasons, as Macdonell looks to get comfortable aboard the S1000RR ahead of the opening round at Shannonville Motorsport Park, May 17-19.

That plan has already kicked off with a recent test at the Podium Club at Attesa circuit in Arizona, where Macdonell was able to turn laps aboard his new BMW machine for the first time. 

“I went down to Podium Club mainly just to shake off the rust and get acquainted with the new bike, but I’m already really happy with it,” Paul said. “The BMW’s power delivery makes it a joy to ride, and I can’t wait for more time in the saddle!”

Another key part of the program will be the trackside support of new crew chief Matt Simpson and teammate Goran Radisic, with the latter running a matching PMR/Vass Performance livery for his 2024 campaign.

Simpson – a pro race winner and Sport Bike championship runner-up in 2023 – will transition to an off-track role as the leading man behind the scenes for Macdonell, bringing recent track and setup knowledge to the new package. 

Macdonell believes the changes can help boost what should be a breakout sophomore season, after finishing as the second Yamaha rider in the championship last year (and just 12 points off the top spot) with top-ten finishes in all but one race. 

The 2024 season will also bring a welcome return out west to a familiar venue for Macdonell, as the third round of the CSBK season will take place at RAD Torque Raceway near Edmonton, Alberta.

The team will have plenty of local experience and track knowledge to draw from, something the rest of the field will lack after not heading west since 2015, though Macdonell hopes the weekend will also serve as an opportunity to continue building the series in western Canada.

“I’m aiming to continue my efforts to be a catalyst for expanding the series out west,” Paul said. “I’d love to place well all season, but my passion is in the sport and all that surrounds it.”

The Bridgestone CSBK season will begin with Ontario rounds in Shannonville and Grand Bend before heading to Alberta for round three, June 21-23. The series will then head east to Halifax for round four before ending with two more Ontario rounds at CTMP and Shannonville. 

Paul and the PMR team would like to thank Vass Performance Cycle, Rebel Fit Nutrition, GB Racing Covers, Flexiglass, Muse Autosport, DP Brakes, Bickle Racing, FÜSPORT, C. Moore Realty, Stringam LLP, Speedpro Signs, Speedy Glass Grande Prairie, WolfRam Forestry, and AP Carbonline for their support ahead of and throughout the 2024 season. 

From a press release

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