Crescent Suzuki has confirmed Jon Kirkham has signed as its second rider for the 2011 MCE British Superbike Championship, bringing with him a title sponsorship deal from electronics giants Samsung.
Though it wasn't certain that Crescent would enter more than one bike in 2011 having already signed former MotoGP rider John Hopkins, Kirkham's arrival has been made possible by his personal sponsor, Samsung Mobile, upping its investment to become a prominent backer.
As such, the team will be known as Samsung Crescent Suzuki this season, with reigning National Superstock champion Kirkham thrilled to be getting a shot with one of the top teams in the paddock.
"For me things couldn't be any better looking ahead now to the start of the season. We have all been working hard to make this happen so it really is a fantastic feeling to know I am joining one of the top teams in the paddock. I know it is going to be a very competitive season but I have a great team behind me and I can really focus on my performance.
“I am looking forward to working with Hopper and heading out to Spain to begin testing. The first few days I will be taking it steady as it is a new bike and I need to adjust to riding a Superbike again after a year in Superstock, but I am confident we can gather some valuable information from the two tracks before we return home."
Having lost Suzuki GB backing and title sponsor Worx to rivals Relentless Suzuki over the winter, Crescent team manager Jack Valentine is delighted to have nonetheless arranged an accomplished package for the 2011 season.
"Naturally we are thoroughly delighted to welcome both Samsung and Jon on-board for the 2011 season. In such a tough climate it is extremely pleasing to work with a new partner from outside of the bike industry and with Jon we have a second rider with real pedigree. While it's been a tough winter period, I genuinely believe we've never been in such a strong position at the start of a season and can't wait to get both riders out on track for testing."
With Samsung, one of the world's leading manufacturers of electronics, offering high-profile sponsorship, its UK head Simon Standford says BSB is the ideal platform for it to attract new customers in 2011.
"We are thrilled to be continuing our relationship with Jon Kirkham this year and extremely enthusiastic about our involvement in the British Superbike circuit this season through our new title sponsorship with Crescent Racing.
“We intend to use this new partnership to take our leading mobile technology and brand to millions of Superbike fans as well as give Crescent Racing an opportunity to reach a wider audience via our customer base."
Samsung Crescent Suzuki will begin testing at Cartagena on March 3rd.