There haven't been many riders and teams capable of extracting front-running pace from a Kawasaki in recent years, but Simon Andrews and MSS Colchester certainly proved it could be done in 2009.
Having been overlooked by higher profile manufacturer-backed teams during the winter, Andrews landed at the new-look MSS Colchester Kawasaki for 2009, a pairing that wasn't expected to cause more than a few ripples on the BSB pond.
Nonetheless, while the ZX-10R was certainly unloved in 2008, a raft of changes to the bike rapidly transformed it into a surprise contender, particularly in the hands of Andrews, who would narrowly miss the podium in only the third round of the season.
In fact, narrowly missing out would prove to be a recurring theme in 2009, Andrews' steadfast reliability record – one that saw him finish all but three races inside the top ten last year – letting him down on this occasion.
A combination of bad luck, most notably at Mallory Park when he was in contention for a win, and human error (Croft) left Andrews battered and bruised at times, ultimately preventing him from achieving any more than one podium in 2009 – even then, that was only after Leon Camier was excluded.
Nonetheless, despite missing three further races through injury, Andrews would end the season in sixth position overall, a fine achievement for any Kawasaki rider, and one that has rightly made him hot property on the BSB stage.
Despite this, Andrews will remain loyal to MSS Colchester in 2010, where more podiums and victories are surely in the offing.
MSS Colchester Kawasaki
3rd (Cadwell Park)
Top 10 BSB Rider of the Year 2008:
Top 10 BSB Rider of the Year 2009
– Gary Mason
– Tommy Bridewell
– Tommy Hill
– Sylvain Guintoli
– Ian Lowry
– John Laverty