Crescent Racing have strengthened their British Superbike Championship (BSB) title bid with Jon Kirkham and electronics giants Samsung joining the team.

Reigning British Superstock champion Kirkham has been striving for a move to BSB after a successful campaign last season and will join ex-MotoGP star John Hopkins at the team. Away from the track, Samsung have completed a deal, which will see them become the squad's title sponsor for 2011.

Team manager Jack Valentine is delighted to welcome Samsung and Kirkham and is convinced his team is in an unprecedented strong position, ahead of the opening round at Brands Hatch next month.

He said: “In such a tough climate it is extremely pleasing to work with a new partner from outside of the bike industry and with Jon we have a second rider with real pedigree. While it’s been a tough winter period, I genuinely believe we’ve never been in such a strong position at the start of a season and can’t wait to get both riders out on track for testing.”

After an impressive run to the British Superstock title last year, Derby-based rider Kirkham admits he is excited to be joining one of the championship's most established teams.

Kirkham said: “For me things couldn’t be any better looking ahead now to the start of the season. We have all been working hard to make this happen so it really is a fantastic feeling to know I am joining one of the top teams in the paddock. I know it is going to be a very competitive season but I have a great team behind me and I can really focus on my performance.”

Kirkham will join team mate Hopkins at Spain's Cartagena circuit this week for the team's first pre-season test and he is eager to begin.

“I am looking forward to working with Hopkins and heading out to Spain to begin testing,” he said. “The first few days I will be taking it steady as it is a new bike and I need to adjust to riding a Superbike again after a year in Superstock. But I am confident we can gather some valuable information from the two tracks before we return home.”

Crescent Racing