Karl Harris will make a surprise return to the MCE British Superbike Championship for the seventh round of the 2011 season at Oulton Park after agreeing terms with the Splitlath Aprilia team.
The former British Supersport champion has not raced in BSB full-time since he was dropped by Hydrex Honda (now Swan Yamaha) towards the end of the 2009 season, but after stints at Superstock and Supersport level in 2010, he will step back up to BSB with Splitlath.
Harris will arrive in time for Oulton Park, a successful venue for 'The Bomber' over the years, not least in 2009 when he secured a pair of second place finishes behind eventual champion Leon Camier.
"I'm well-chuffed to be back racing in the British paddock and I'm really looking forward to getting back out there this weekend," said Harris, who last raced in BSB for one event aboard an East Coast Yamaha.
"I've not raced this year but have kept my hand in doing a fair bit of motocross, so I'm ready for it. I can't wait to get out there and see what we can achieve with the Splitlath Motorsport Aprilia. I've ridden the Aprilia before in Superstock and it's a good little bike. I'm well-excited, and can't wait to get back out."
Harris's acquisition comes as Splitlath looks to turn around a disappointing season with the only Aprilia RSV-4s on the grid, its rider Hudson Kennaugh having cracked the points just once this year.
"I'm really pleased to have Karl joining our team,” expressed team manager John Dimbylow. “He has a very impressive track record and his previous results and championships speak for themselves.
“He already has experience riding the Aprilia RSV4 and myself, Karl and the whole team are excited about what we can achieve together. I believe he will be a fine addition to the line-up at Splitlath Motorsport."
Harris has made 134 BSB starts over a career spanning more than ten years, with a best overall result coming in 2006 when he finished fifth, though he is yet to record a race win.