James Ellison and Chris Walker will join the GBmoto Racing team for the 2014 MCE British Superbike Championship, as the team look to expand their efforts and challenge for the title.
Ellison and Walker, who were factory Kawasaki teammates in WSB all the way back in 2002, will once again have official Team Green support, as the team switches from Honda and will become an official Kawasaki factory supported team.
Ellison, whose challenge on the 2013 title was dogged by crashes and mechanical failures on his Milwaukee Yamaha, says the combination of the ZX-10R and working with experienced crew chief Matt Llewellyn were major factors in his decision.
“I’m really excited about this deal as I know how good this team is, especially now with the Kawasaki machinery and support. I’ve been in contact with Mark since last year when I was coming back from GP’s and to be honest it was a close thing for this season, the only thing I wasn’t sure about was the overall package of the Honda. Since then I’ve watched the team progress and being up against the Kawasaki’s week in, week out, I know just how strong those bikes are, and that was probably the deciding factor for 2014. “
Meanwhile series veteran Walker, who leaves the Quattro Plant squad but stays with the manufacturer who supplies his race school machinery, says his intentions are clear – secure a Showdown spot.
“It’s great to be staying on Kawasaki machinery and signing with the GBmoto squad who I consider one of the best up and coming teams. The ZX-10R is one of the mostcompetitive bikes I’ve ever raced and with a super fast team-mate, plus my other Kawasaki commitments, it’s a perfect fit for me. After a competitive 2013 I’m really fired up for an even bigger go next year!”
Team boss Mark Smith-Halvorsen added: “This really is a ‘game changer’ for us as a team, as our first real experience of manufacturer support and also to secure riders who have won BSB races.”
“We see the link with Kawasaki as fantastic on a number of levels, which really excites me to be honest. Technically, the bikes are second to none, our technicians deserve to work with a machine such as the ZX-10R and I believe this will produce a huge jump forward in terms of results, while to have been able to sign riders of the quality of James and Chris is another big shot in the arm for us, they bring with them a wealth of experience and know what it takes to fight at the front.”