British Superbike star Dean Thomas will ride for the Kawasaki France team for the first two World Supersport rounds as a replacement for the injured Stephane Chambon.
Thomas, 33, will ride for Hawk Kawasaki in British Superbikes in 2006, but competed in British Supersport in 2003. In 2005, he finished sixth overall in the Superbike class.
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"I was delighted when i got the call and also very nervous. I've never ridden the ZX6-R before, 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 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," said Thomas.
He'll be up against all the regular championship contenders, plus former World Superbike star Anthony Gobert. See Related Articles, right, for more on Gobert's return.