Tommy Bridewell will switch to the Milwaukee Yamaha team for the remainder of the MCE British Superbike season.
In a surprise move, Bridewell parted ways with Halsall Kawasaki earlier today (Tuesday) and has now been announced as riding alongside Showdown contender James Ellison - at the expense of Australian rookie Josh Waters.
"I wish to thank Martin Halsall and the entire Halsall Racing Kawasaki team for the opportunity to race their bike at the previous three rounds of the 2013 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship meetings," said a statement from Bridewell.
"The results that were achieved in such a short space of time were absolutely brilliant and it was a real team effort for which I'm truly grateful. Thanks to my team and to Lee Costello too, I wish them a safe and successful remainder of the season.
"We now move on and this is a brand new chapter for me and I'm very much looking forward to working with Shaun Muir and his team for the Showdown rounds. The Milwaukee Yamaha is an excellent motorbike and I'm relishing the opportunity of working with a British Championship winning team alongside James Ellison."
Team owner Muir explained that Bridewell had been signed as a 'wingman' for Ellison's title challenge, which begins at Assen this weekend.
"We have reached a critical time in the season now and every point will count towards the championship. James obviously has his position inside the top six and for us the second rider in the team at this stage needs to be acting as a wingman and upsetting the results for the other riders in the Showdown," said Muir.
Waters, the reigning Australian Superbike champion on Suzuki machinery, has had a tough time in BSB and sits just 14th in the standings.
"It has been a difficult season for Josh and despite the best efforts, the results haven't been forthcoming and we cannot afford to be losing valuable points now," said Muir. "We have mutually agreed that we need to change the line up for this weekend and with Tommy becoming available this is the ideal opportunity for him to play a huge part in the outcome of the championship and utilise our second bike to its full potential."
Even Ellison appeared unaware of the forthcoming team change, Tweeting earlier today: “Well there's Yonny's [PBM MotoGP] replacement. Shame, had some great races with [Tommy] this year and would have made showdown fun” when news of Bridewell's split from Halsall was announced.
Bridewell's move is the second big BSB rider change for Assen, following news that Noriyuki Haga will partner reigning champion Shane Byrne at Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki.
Ellison starts the Showdown phase fourth in the standings, 26 points from Byrne.
UPDATE: Tweet from Waters: "Thank you to everyone for the kind msg's, it means a lot. I was shocked, I'm not a quitter. I hope to get another chance..."