Former professional rugby player and motorcycle rider Michael Howarth has announced he is moving into team ownership for 2013 with an entry to the MCE British Superbike Championship under the MH Kawasaki banner.
Howarth has made sporadic appearances in the BSB paddock over the years, including a management stint heading up the Tena For Men squad in 2008, while he has most recently raced in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship.
For 2013, Howarth has confirmed he will enter a pair of Kawasaki ZX-10Rs for Superstock 1000 standout Howie Mainwaring and Luke Quigley, who made his BSB debut with GBmoto Honda in 2012.
"The decision to run the team stemmed from the end of last season when I raced in Superstock,” Howarth said. “I want to have a team that is enthusiastic and I really want to do the job properly. I have really big personal goals for the team and high expectations of both of the riders; I want to beat what the team we had in 2008 achieved as a start and then who knows what we can do as this is a long-term project.
“I have so much enthusiasm and that is what you need to be successful in racing. The combination of me wanting this team to be a success, plus a pair of dedicated riders whose ultimate passion is racing, should be an exciting prospect."
A podium winner in the Superstock 1000 series in 2012 on the way to sixth overall, Mainwaring will be following rivals Keith Farmer, PJ Jacobsen and Lee Costello in making the jump to BSB in 2013.
"It feels massive to be part of this team. I have wanted to get back into Superbikes for a while and now I have a really good shot. I am looking forward to getting back on the Kawasaki as I just gel with the bike and I think it will give me the chance to have some good finishes. We are under no illusions of how tough the championship is, but the team has really high hopes and I want to be getting near the sharp end.
“There definitely will be some good races between us former Superstock riders too; I have some unfinished business with guys like PJ (Jacobsen) and Keith (Farmer) so I will want to mix it up with them again. It will be like a championship within a championship if you include Danny (Buchan) too - we are all not scared of a bit of fairing rubbing! I also need to thank Walker Signs and Street Furniture for their support."
Quigley, meanwhile, is determined to build on a solid debut year with GBmoto Honda, during which time he scored a handful of points and was a match for more experienced team-mate Tristan Palmer.