Paul Bird Motorsports has announced that the team will compete in BSB in 2012 – using Kawasaki ZX-10R machinery and some very familiar faces. Shane Byrne and Stuart Easton will be riding for the team, Byrne moving from the HM Plant Honda squad and Easton transferring from the MSS Colchester Kawasaki team.
Paul Bird will also be fielding James Ellison in MotoGP, running a one-man CRT team in the fledgling series. It’s going to be a busy time…
This is a real shot in the arm for the BSB series, having lost Crescent Suzuki to WSB, and should make great use of the machinery and experience learned from the team’s four year WSB experience that ended at the Portimao race. Having won the title four times, and raced with Byrne extensively in the past (while Easton was using essentially a PBM bike under MSS colours until his big NW200 crash), the team isn’t short of knowledge, and should be right up there at the season’s start.
Shane Byrne: “It’s a bit like coming home as this will be the third time I’ll have ridden for Paul and it’s quite funny as you spend five minutes with the team and it’s as if you’ve never been away! The team always puts out competitive bikes and the Kawasaki will be a major threat I reckon. You know Paul wouldn’t be coming back to BSB if he didn’t think he could win it so I think we’ll have a real good shot at the title.”
Stuart Easton: “My injuries are healing well and everything should be sorted in time for me to start testing with the team as planned. It’s great to be back with PBM and I appreciate the support they have given me this year whilst I was out. We have enjoyed so much success together in the past, I’m really looking forward to this challenge and if we can replicate that it will be great.”
Paul Bird, Team Owner: “When we decided to return to British Superbikes, signing both Shakey and Stuart was always the plan and I’m delighted they’ve come on board with us. We’ve won British championships as well as World championship races together and for me it’s my dream team. We have proved that the Kawasaki ZX-10R is a fantastic bike and have won on it at BSB in 2010 so we know what we need to do. I promised Stuart a deal straight after his crash and he’ll be back to full fitness very soon and with Shakey keen to make up for missing out this year, we are ideally placed.”
The season starts at Brands Hatch over Easter with the team planning a test schedule in Spain during March.