Paul Bird Motorsport have signalled their intentions for the 2012 British Superbike season by signing Shane 'Shakey' Byrne and Stuart Easton to ride a pair of factory-spec Kawasaki ZX-10Rs. After four years in World Superbikes, the Cumbria-based outfit are making a welcome return to the British series and have assembled a 'dream team' for their first year back.
Byrne, who led much of the 2010 championship before losing out in the Showdown, is returning to the team with which he won his two previous BSB titles and expects to be challenging at the front next year.
“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.”
In Easton, Paul Bird Motorsport have one of the highest-rated riders in the championship and the Scotsman is delighted to be back after missing much of 2011 through injury. The Hawick rider suffered serious injuries at the North West 200 but expects be fit and ready for the start of testing.
“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.”
PBM will also enter next year's MotoGP Championship as a “Claiming Rules Team” and team owner Paul Bird is excited at the way things are shaping up for next year.
“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.”