After being left with serious injuries after a high-speed accident at last weekend's North West 200, Stuart Easton has been given the best possible reason to get back to full fitness - by being offered a deal to race in 2012 with Paul Bird Motorsport!
The 27-year-old suffered pelvic, leg and hand as well as some internal injuries in the crash during Thursday morning's practice and was transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast where he is expected to remain for some time.
Nevertheless, long term friend and sponsor Paul Bird - whose Factory Kawasaki World Superbike team had been supporting Easton's BSB campaign with MSS Colchester Kawasaki - has pledged to back the Scotsman in 2012 after visiting him in hospital.
"Stuart was well on course to be one of the main contenders in the British Superbike Championship this year and at the time of his accident was lying in third place just six points off the lead so it's a cruel blow that this has happened," said Bird.
"It's going to be a long and painful road ahead for him and the last thing he needs to be worrying about is whether or not he's got a ride so we will provide him with a competitive bike for next season in whichever championship both Stuart and the team decide upon and feel he'll be most competitive in.
"We are all devastated at what has happened but the first thing is to get Stuart fit again and back on a bike as soon as possible. We are working on bringing a brand new sponsor in too so hopefully we can announce that in due course."
The announcement raises speculation that PBM could be considering a return to the domestic scene in 2012, or whether the extent of the 'ride' is the continued support for Easton in BSB.