THM ePayMe Yamaha have signalled their intent for the 2016 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship by signing Stuart Easton to partner John Hopkins. The new team, owned by 2011 champion Tommy Hill, will enter the series with factory Yamaha support and have now signed two experienced BSB race winners to lead their challenge.
Easton is looking forward to being reunited with Hill, a man he has great history with in British Superbikes, and also hopes to put together the title challenge that was taken away from him by injury this season.
“I am really happy to have joined the THM ePayMe Yamaha team for next season. I have had some great races with Tommy on track, especially two that stand out at Oulton Park, and we have also been team-mates before so it is exciting and surreal to be working together like this in 2016. The last time I rode a Yamaha was when I won the British Supersport Championship for them in 2013 and so I have some great memories, it might have been a different class but it was still a great bike and I can’t wait to test the new YZF-R1. Everybody has talked about what a great Superbike it is, and although I haven’t ridden it yet, we have seen how strong it was with Josh Brookes on-board this season so full credit to him and the team.”
“I was unlucky to have ended this season with the injury, but I feel confident about next season and the new challenge. Lots of people say you are as good as your last race and the last races I did when I was fully fit before my crash and was subsequently injured, I finished in second place twice at Knockhill so that bodes well! I feel like this season I have been riding as well as I have ever done and so next year is another big opportunity for me and I feel that myself, Hopper and Tommy all have points to prove on different levels and we can’t wait to get started.”
Hill is pleased to have his 2016 line-up already in place and believes he has the perfect pairing to get the best out of the highly-rated Yamaha YZF-R1s.
“I am delighted to have signed Stuart Easton to the new THM ePayMe Yamaha team for 2016. I have rated Stuart as a rider for many years; I rode with him as a team-mate and really feel he is more than capable of pushing for more race wins in 2016 given the right package and a team to support him. I have been talking closely with the SMR team who have worked with Stuart in the past; I feel his riding style will really match the characteristics of the new YZF-R1. It’s an exciting time with our two new signings and I hope that we can all have a great season together.”