By Layla Williams
This week's announcement that Stuart Easton will ride alongside Shane Byrne at the new PBM Kawasaki British Superbike team puts the Scotsman's career firmly back on track after a life-threatening accident at this year's North West 200.
Easton had made a dream start to the 2011 BSB season, which saw him switch back to MSS Kawasaki after two years with Honda machinery. Two podiums at round two (Oulton Park) put Easton second in the early championship standings.
6-2 results next time at Croft cemented Easton's belief that he could turn around the fortunes of Kawasaki in BSB and become their first champion in over a decade.
But such thoughts were wiped out when Easton travelled to the North West 200 to make his first 2011 appearance on the roads. An unavoidable accident with his team-mate Gary Mason left Easton fighting for his life and career.
The accident and injuries that the young Scott sustained obviously made him question whether it was all worth it; he has a wife and a young son, and he initially decided to quit racing and concentrate on his family.
“I'll be honest, the first week was pure hell, lots of pain and I never wanted to see a bike again but now I've been watching the TT and GP, I know I love bikes and that's what I want to do still.”
Being away from the paddock and watching others go out on his bike made the racer in Easton fight back and he began to astound doctors with his strength and determination.
Paul Bird was soon convinced, offering Easton a ride whilst he was still in hospital!
Easton is now close to full fitness and looking forward to next season.
"My injuries are healing well and everything should be sorted in time for me to start testing with the team as planned," said Easton, who won the 2002 British Supersport title for PBM.
"It's great to be back with PBM and I appreciate the support they have given me this year whilst I was out. We have enjoyed so much success together in the past, I'm really looking forward to this challenge and if we can replicate that it will be great."