Simon Andrews and Gary Mason will ride alongside one another again for the 2012 MCE British Superbike Championship after signing deals to compete with PR Kawasaki next season.
The pair last competed together with MSS Colchester Kawasaki in 2010, but while Mason would remain for the 2011 BSB season, Andrews would switch to PR Racing for an assault on the EVO title.
Mason arrives at PR Racing following his most successful BSB season to date, the 32-year-old scoring his first podiums at Croft and Brands Hatch on the way to tenth in the overall standings.
Having already sampled a 2012-specification ZX-10R with MSS Colchester towards the end of the 2011 season, Mason is confident of benefitting from his head start.
"I really can't wait until next season and I am happy as we have every chance of winning and achieving podiums with the new rules for next year,” said Mason, a former BSB Cup champion. “I was always really keen to stay with Kawasaki, although I had other options, as we started working last year on the development and I wanted to continue that as I feel that the bike has real potential. As a team, PR Racing really are passionate about what they do and that is so important; a happy team generally equals a fast team.
"We have a lot to prove and we definitely want to leave some of the competition with red faces next year that's for sure. I know where we need to work on already with the bike having ridden a 2012 specification Kawasaki last year so we already have a bit of a head start in terms of knowing what we need to focus on straight away. The team have already begun work on the bike so we can get the best out of it from the start of the year; we know the Kawasaki will be strong we just need to ensure we have smooth power delivery."
"The new season and the new rules is what racing is all about and I can't wait to start work with the PR Racing team on the Kawasaki. For me it is also going to be great having Si as a team-mate again as I get on well with him and it will be great to have him back again after his horrible injury from this season. We will push each other all the way and now I am just continuing my training and getting ready so we can start testing soon."
Andrews's decision to re-sign with PR Racing comes after he missed the second-half of the 2011 season with serious leg injuries, sustained in a spectacular accident at Snetterton. With his recovery going to plan, Andrews is confident he will fully fit again by the time the 2012 season begins.
"Even last year I was already looking ahead to next season and that is why I rode in the Evo class as we were forward thinking to 2012. I got on well with the team this year and there is a great atmosphere in the garage and we have a methodical way of working so I am happy to be with the team again next season. It is also good for me to have Gary joining us next season as we can work together with our different experiences to move forward and hopefully hit the ground running from the first round. I really feel that PR Racing really is an up and coming team in the BSB paddock and the fight we have and the team spirit can continue from this season.
"We started last season having not tested the bike and we had a good first half of the season before the crash; if it hadn't been for that I think we could have been there and fought for the EVO title, but that just shows how cruel this sport can be at times. I still have the cage on my leg at the moment, but it should be coming off before Christmas and I feel there is a light at the end of the tunnel now. It won't be long then before I can start testing with the team ready for the start of the season."
Having raced as an EVO team in 2011, the realigned regulations mean PR Racing will compete on a par with the championship contenders in 2012. PR Racing is the second two-rider Kawasaki team confirmed to the 2012 grid, where it will line-up alongside Rapid PBM.