Samsung back Crescent Suzuki

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Crescent Racing have new Samsung Mobile title sponsorship that sees National Superstock champion Jon Kirkham joining all-American hero and former MotoGP star John Hopkins on the Suzuki GSX-R1000 in BSB this year.

Kirkham won last year’s Superstock title riding a Samsung-backed BMW but has been in talks with Crescent and Samsung since the end of last year and will return to the class he last raced in 2006.

Kirkham, 26 from Derby, said: “I’ve been waiting since when I won the Superstock title for this to be finalised – but it’s been well worth the wait. Crescent Suzuki is a fantastic team. It couldn’t be any better.”

Kirkham has history with Crescent. He rode John Reynolds’ 2004 title-winning bike in a one-off, end of season Castle Combe meeting and then jumped on injured Shane Byrne’s Rizla bike at Snetterton in 2006.

Team manager Jack Valentine said: “We has looked outside the box to sign Hopper but then we wanted a young English rider to join him.

"We talked to a few but Jon was keen, Samsung were keen and it was a case of making it all happen. Samsung we keen to expand into BSB – so it was a natural progression for them.

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Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin