After weeks of speculation, Paul Bird Motorsport is pleased to announce that Shane 'Shakey' Byrne and Tom Sykes are the two riders to contest the 2007 British Superbike Championship for the Stobart Honda team.
Following two seasons in MotoGP followed by a year back in BSB in 2006, 29 year old Byrne, originally from Sittingbourne in Kent but now resident in Zurich, rejoins the team that took him to the 2003 British Superbike Championship as well as a double World Superbike victory aboard a Ducati.
Sykes, meanwhile, the 21 year old Yorkshireman from Huddersfield, steps up to the Superbike class for 2007 having contested the British Supersport Championship for the past few seasons which included him finishing as runner up in 2006.
The pair will use the Phil Borley prepared Honda Fireblade CBR1000RR's in the thirteen round series which kicks off at Brands Hatch over the Easter weekend (April 7/9th).
"I had other options, including rides in the World Championship, but I decided to go with the Stobart team as I know them and we've enjoyed a lot of success together in the past. Unlike last year, we'll be undertaking a full winter test schedule which will hopefully allow us to start the season very strong. The bikes are good and the team has been working hard to make sure we can be in with a shout of winning and I'm very happy to be reunited with the team and Paul Bird"
"I'm really looking forward to the season and I know I've got a great team behind me. They have won two British Superbike Championships and have a lot of experience so I can't wait to get started. It's going to be a steep learning curve for me but it's one I'm relishing and I hope to be challenging for podiums as the season progresses. It's a very relaxed atmosphere in Birdy's team and I'm also looking forward to working with Shakey so let's bring it on!"
"The team and the sponsors are delighted to have the chance to work with Shakey again, as indeed I am, and we are hoping to continue our previously successful relationship which I'm sure we will. I've also been a fan of Tom's for a long time and we're under no illusions that it's going to be tough but he'll fit in well with our team and he's one for the future. We're well on with our plans for testing and hope to get back to our winning ways in 2007."