Dean Thomas to contend first World Supersport Round - February 20th 2006
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33-year-old Hawk Kawasaki rider Dean Thomas has been offered a huge opportunity to replace Stephane Chambon in the opening round of the World Supersport Championship at Losail in Qatar. Hawk Kawasaki Team Principal Stuart Hicken received a call from Christian Bourgeois, Kawasaki France late last week requiring the assistance of Thomas to fill the shoes of the injured Chambon.
Thomas will be riding for the GIL Motorsport team run from the Kawasaki France Headquarters. Thomas last competed in the Supersport 600cc class back in 2003 in the British Supersport series and he is looking forward to returning to the series especially at World-Class level. After signing with Hawk Kawasaki to ride in the British Superbike series at the end of 2004 he made his mark and settled onto the ZX10 extremely well finishing a very creditable 6th position in the overall standings. Thomas was the only rider in the ultra competitive Championship to score points in all 13 rounds, and securing his ride on board the ZX10 in the 2006 British Superbike Series once again with Hawk.
Commenting Thomas said 'I was delighted when I got the call from Stuart about the ride in Qatar and also very nervous. I'm extremely looking forward to getting back on a bike again and working hard for the GIL Team to get some respectable results at the opening round. I have never ridden the ZX6R before, I will also be on Pirelli tyres and at a new track, so it could prove quite difficult but I am eagerly awaiting the challenge. I will have a few days to get used to the bike and the set up before the race but I am hoping that I will settle onto it quite well, as I can generally adapt to bikes reasonably quickly. If I manage to gain a good result then I will also be competing in the second round at Phillip Island, Australia the following week. It's been a long while since I competed at World level and I know that the competition is tough, I have a lot to learn but I am determined to come away with an encouraging result.'
Speaking with Stuart Hicken he commented 'It's a great opportunity for Dean to compete at World level and also a good indication that Kawasaki are working together Worldwide as a family. I am confident that Dean will cope well under the circumstances and I'm glad that he was their choice of rider to fill in for Chambon. We are currently working exceedingly hard as a team to ensure that Dean, Craig Coxhell and Peter Hickman have a competitive set up for the forthcoming British Superbike season which gets underway in less than a month.'
The World Supersport Race will be shown live on Eurosport 2 at 11.00am CET on Saturday 25th February.