Jon Kirkham with BSB Jentin Yamaha team

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The Lloyds British Jentin Yamaha team has confirmed it will run Jon Kirkham in BSB this year on a new Yamaha R1.

The 24-year-old rider certainly impressed many team managers during his campaign last season with his consistent podium finishes in both the National Superstock championship and the Henderson R1 Cup, inevitably resulting in him being a top contender for British Superbikes in 09.

Kirkham said:  I am very happy to be riding for the Jentin Racing team and. I am sure I will have a real chance to be close to the podium, or indeed on the podium during the season. That’s certainly both mine and the team’s intention.

"I can’t wait to begin testing and put the new Lloyds British Yamaha through its paces.”

Kirkham ended last season as runner-up in the Metzeler National Superstock championship after claiming a very impressive 10 podium finishes which included seven second places and three race wins.

Kirkham, from Derby, was the runaway winner of the 2008 Henderson Yamaha R1 Cup taking the win in both the Spring and Autumn Cup, as well as being the overall championship winner.

Seldom off the podium, he scored an amazing nine race wins on his way to the championship title.

He was given a further opportunity to prove himself when, he rode for the official Yamaha team in the final two races of the British Superbike championship at Brands Hatch resulting in a superb qualifying (9th)  following up with two fine top 10 finishes.

Jentin Racing also enjoyed a very successful 2008 season, never finishing outside the top ten and with a couple of fifth places to their credit the hard working Gloucester based squad are determined to build on this throughout 2009.

Jentin Racing boss Bernie Toleman said: “I’ve been watching Jon very closely throughout the 2008 season and been impressed.

"Without doubt he has proved that he is more than capable on a superbike scoring two strong results at Brands Hatch after stepping in, quite literally at the very last minute, to take over the factory backed Yamaha team ride.

"I genuinely believe that the timing is now right for JK to really make his mark on the BSB championship and we have every intention to provide him with both the equipment and team support to do just that.”

The team expect to complete a test schedule in Spain prior to the first round of the new campaign

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Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin