Kawasaki's official World Superbike team have announced they will make a surprise appearance at the upcoming Brands Hatch round of the MCE British Superbike Championship.
A return to the series for Paul Bird Motorsport, who run Kawasaki's factory effort in the world championship this year, both Broc Parkes and Makoto Tamada will go head-to-head with the likes of Airwaves Yamaha, HM Plant Honda and counterparts MSS Colchester Kawasaki.
Able to happen due to the lengthy summer break between the Brno and the Nurburgring rounds, Tamada will become the first Japanese MotoGP winner to compete at BSB level, while Parkes brings years of World Supersport experience with him.
Giving the riders additional testing time on the bikes, Bird was delighted to be returning to the series in which the team 'cut its teeth'
"It will be good to come back to do a meeting in BSB as that is where we cut our teeth and enjoyed much of our success in the past,” he said. “Both riders love Brands Hatch and it's a shame were not racing there in WSB this season but we couldn't pass over the chance to race at such a great place.
“It will give us some extra time on the bikes which we need at present and at the same time, hopefully add a bit of variety to proceedings in BSB. Kawasaki UK are planning to start their Ninja 25th Anniversary Celebrations there too so it should be a good weekend all round."
Parkes, who is currently 18th in the standings with a best finish of tenth place this year, is looking forward to racing at Brands Hatch again following the Kent circuit's omission from the WSBK calendar.
"When they announced that there was no Brands Hatch race on the 2009 WSB calendar I was really disappointed as I really like the circuit and enjoy racing there. The fact that we need as much time on the track as possible with the Ninja ZX-10R to test means that the Brands BSB opportunity will be a good one for the team during the August WSB break. I'm really looking forward to it."
Tamada, who returns to action at Brno this weekend following a lengthy lay-off with injury, was also looking forward to following in the footsteps of successful Japanese predecessors such as Ryuichi Kiyonari and Yukio Kagayama.
"This will be my third time riding at Brands Hatch. In the past it's been a difficult track for me but I'm looking forward to the BSB opportunity to improve my fitness on the bike after missing five races due to the Monza crash injury.
“The British Superbike Championship is very well respected and I know the guys are fast so it's a good chance for us as a team to gauge our progress and to have more track time so we can develop the bike further and finish the WSB season as strong as we can."