The 2007 Bennetts British Superbike Championship gets underway at Brands Hatch in Kent this Easter weekend with the all-new Stobart Vent Axia Motorsport Team of Shane 'Shakey' Byrne and Tom Sykes ready to do battle.
Paul Bird's team has re-signed the 30 year old ex MotoGP star Byrne after he landed the title for them back in 2003 and the Zurich-residing Londoner has shown very good pace in pre-season testing aboard the 1000cc Honda.
Brands is Shakey's local track and his legions of fans will be out in force to cheer him on as he looks to mix it with the front runners around the Kent GP track on Easter Monday.
Sykes, meanwhile, has been impressive on his full-time transition into Superbikes after finishing as runner-up in the 2006 British Supersport Championship. The 21 year old Yorkshireman form Huddersfield has shown a good turn of pace in testing and has settled in very well to the team.
Shane Byrne: "Let's get this on! I've been so impressed with the whole package since I cocked my leg over the bike at the first test and I can honestly say I'm feeling really confident about Brands. Pre-season testing is vital and last year, it took me half a season to get up to speed whereas this year, I reckon we can be on it from the start. The bike is working well, it's great to be back with my old team and I can't wait to go racing"
Tom Sykes: "I'm very pleased with the progress we've made in testing and I think that has been reflected in the time sheets. It's been a huge learning curve for me over the winter but the way the team has worked round me, has had a huge impact on my confidence. I have my targets for this weekend and I'm not going to heap pressure on myself by revealing them but I'm very confident we can give a good account of ourselves."
Paul Bird: "I don't think we've ever been as well prepared for a season as this. We have improved the package all round, we have tested well and this is a new dawn for the team. We have a pair of hungry riders on board, combined with a great team and coupled with a fast bike, it means we should be in with a shout from the start."