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Paul Bird Motorsport confirm BSB dream team of Byrne and Easton

Wednesday, November 09 2011

Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM) has become the first of the Elite Teams to announce their line up for the 2012 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship and have signalled their intentions of a winning return by signing Shane 'Shakey' Byrne and Stuart Easton.

Following four seasons in the World Superbike Championship, which recently included a race win for the team, Penrith businessman Bird has lined up his former champions Byrne and Easton for an assault on winning a third title. The Cumbria-based team have a strong pedigree in the British series, taking consecutive BSB titles in 2002 and 2003 with the late Steve Hislop and Byrne, whilst Easton also won the British Supersport title with the team in 2002.

Former double BSB champion Byrne and former British Supersport champion Easton will race factory-specification Kawasaki ZX-10Rs for the series as part of an ambitious plan which will see PBM also field a CRT rider in MotoGP with former BSB title contender James Ellison. The team are now planning a test schedule in Spain ahead of the new season.

Byrne said: "It is mega to be back with the PBM team again after two successful seasons with them in the past, including winning the title in 2003. To visit the team again back in Penrith was like coming home for me and as if I had never been away. Myself and Paul (Bird) are very similar and we are focused and relaxed at the same time for the new season. It is fundamentally the same squad as I worked with before and I know that the team wouldn't come back to BSB unless they believed they could win. I think Kawasaki will be one of the most competitive packages out there and I think that this team will make it ultra competitive. I am now looking forward to getting testing underway in preparation for next season."

Easton, who will make his return to racing after sustaining serious injuries in this year's North West 200 race, said: "My recovery is coming along well now and I keep building up and moving forward all the time. The doctors have already said that it has been a remarkable recovery and so I want to continue that in preparation for when we begin testing. I visited the team recently and it was the first time I had sat on a bike since my crash and it felt good, I am just looking at it as if I have had a longer winter! It is a nice feeling for me to be back with PBM as they have always supported me in the past. It feels great for me to be coming back to BSB next season, especially alongside Shakey so it is a big thing for me. Whenever I have had success in the past it has been linked to PBM and now to be with the team shows the faith they have in me. The Championship will be closer than ever next season with the new rules that's for sure." 

Team Owner Paul Bird concluded: "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."