As was predicted in MCN last month, Paul Bird has just officially announced that Spaniard Gregorio Lavilla will ride in a one-man World Superbike effort in 2008.
Gregorio Lavilla will return to the World Superbike series after a three-year stint in the British superbike championship, which saw him clinch the title at the first attempt in 2005.
The 34-year-old former factory Suzuki rider will ride on factory-supported Honda machinery, after Paul Bird decided to end his long tenure in the British Superbike series to join World Superbikes.
Lavilla, who raced for the Airwaves Ducati squad during his entire British Superbike career, was desperate to return to the world stage, but constant rumours linking GSE Racing with a switch back to the World Superbike championship never came to fruition.
Paul Bird said: “It’s back to our tried and tested formula of a one rider team and that’s where we’ve had most of our successes in the past. The team will be geared around Greg and he’ll get everything he needs to make sure we have the best chance possible.
“It’s a new venture for us but it’s one that the whole team is very excited about and we aim to start testing very soon in readiness for the opening round in Qatar.”
Gregorio Lavilla said: “It has always been my aim to get back into the World Superbike Championship on a competitive bike and I’m very grateful to Paul Bird and his team for this opportunity.
“I have enjoyed my time in BSB very much and I’m sad to be leaving as I have made many good friends and it has been a good time for my career.
“I’d like to say thank you to my fans and not only do I have a home race in Spain next season, but I have two more ‘home’ races in England and I’m very much looking forward to it.”