Padgetts Honda has confirmed it will graduate to the MCE British Superbike Championship in 2012 with the formidable rider pairing of ex-WSBK racer Luca Scassa and Ian Lowry.

The team, which has notable credits at Supersport, Superstock and road racing level, has been tipped to make the jump to the Superbike series in light of the incoming cost-cutting regulations, but has bided its time to ensure it arrives with a headline-grabbing line-up.

Its offensive will be led by Scassa, who will make his BSB debut in 2012 following his race winning turn in the World Supersport Championship last year. The Italian claimed three victories on the way to fifth in the final WSS standings, while he also has top ten finishes to his name during a respectable WSBK season in 2010.

Following in the wheel tracks of ex-WSS rival Florian Marino, who was recently confirmed with Splitlath Redmond Aprilia, Scassa is delighted to be tackling the BSB for the first time.

"I am very happy about joining BSB, I am looking forward to this new experience and now I can't wait to join the championship. I know some of the tracks already, but of all of them I am most looking forward to Cadwell Park; I have seen the photos of Josh Brookes and I really want to go there! I had the chance to race in WSB and WSS but I am not very old and I like to do something different.

"I think racing in BSB will give me a better chance in the future; we have seen it in the past with riders like John Hopkins and Jonathan Rea. I have raced with Shakey, Hill and Haga before; they are all strong, fast riders and there are many of those in BSB.

"I came and met the team recently and it was great; they have lots of history in racing and I knew this before I spoke to Clive. They have a lot of experience and I feel happy with the team. I have never ridden a Honda before so it will be interesting for me the first time we test, but it is one of the best bikes to race and I think it will be very good with the rules in BSB. I think at the moment in my career I feel that I am near the top of my riding style and if I can find a good feeling with the Padgetts Honda then we should have good results."

Lowry, meanwhile, returns to BSB competition after a fractured season in 2011, which began with Buildbase BMW but ended with a stint on the MSS Colchester Kawasaki. The Ulsterman made his BSB debut in 2009, where he impressed with a run to fifth in the standings on the Relentless by TAS Suzuki.

Keen to replicate the form that saw him finish the 2009 season in the top five, Lowry is looking forward to joining the Padgetts team.

"It is great for me to be back in BSB and I feel this will be a good season for me. The Padgetts team have a huge amount of experience with a proven track record and also the enthusiasm to match. I need to show everyone my true potential this season and this is a great opportunity for me.

"It is good to be with Honda this year as with the rule changes I think it will be a fantastic package; in past seasons I have always been envious of how good the chassis is straight out of the crate and it should lend itself well to the new regulations. It should throw up a few surprises and I am really up for the new challenge."

Scassa, who also raced at WSBK level in 2009 with Pedercini Kawasaki, is the latest high-profile signing to commit to British Superbikes after motorcycling legend Noriyuki Haga was confirmed with Swan Yamaha this week, while Supersonic Racing, Scassa's former WSBK employer, has announced it will enter a pair of BMWs in 2012.


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