MSS Colchester Kawasaki has become the first factory-supported team to announce a rider signing for the 2011 British Superbike season by revealing the return of Stuart Easton.
The outfit, which ran Simon Andrews and Gary Mason in the 2010 season, embarks on a new chapter in 2011 as it spearheads Kawasaki's UK charge with the all-new ZX-10R, a factor that Easton says was key in his decision to defect from Swan Honda.
For Easton, the deal marks a return to the Kawasaki team he last rode for in 2008 when he finished the season 13th overall despite missing several rounds through injury.
A move to Honda machinery in 2009 saw his reputation soar on the back of two wins and third in the standings, though he struggled to replicate that form in 2010 having began the season as a title favourite.
Nonetheless, Easton – who has close links with the factory PBM World Superbike Kawasaki team – is excited about the opportunity to ride the much anticipated new Ninja.
“Ever since I spoke to Paul Bird about the new bike and the opportunity came up to run in the MSS squad I've been really excited. I know the team from last time around and they had massive potential which was shown in Simon Andrews rides in 2009.
“Since then I've learnt a lot also and have racked-up wins and podiums, so it feels like a good time to be re-uniting. The new bike looks awesome and I've been watching the test times from the WSB team, very impressive. I'll be riding for 'Birdy' in Macau, and testing the bike in Aragon in Spain next week, maybe if I'm really lucky I'll get out on the 2010 bike too.
“The close relationship between the two squads and exchange of info can only help so all-in-all I'm well happy!”
As with Easton, MSS Colchester Kawasaki's 2010 season didn't live up to the promise its 2009 campaign, but team manager Nick Morgan is confident that Easton will help them get back on track.
“We've been pursuing Stuart for a long time, he is a class act and definitely our first choice of rider. With his increased Superbike experience and wins under his belt now there is no denying he can cut it at the very front of the BSB pack. Like us, he's excited by the new Ninja ZX-10R and we can't wait to get testing with both Stuart and this awesome new bike.”