Tsingtao Kawasaki have signed Jon Kirkham for the 2014 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship.

Two-time race winner Kirkham narrowly missed out on a place in the Showdown on two occasions, winning the Riders' Cup in 2011 and 2013, and now has his sights set on securing the top six position with Tsingtao, entering their first full year in the Superbike class.

The team made their BSB debut at Cadwell Park, getting close to a maiden top ten finish at the final round at Brands Hatch with Howie Mainwaring.

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"It is exciting to be part of a relatively new team and to ride a Kawasaki as it has been proven at both World and British level that it is a really strong package; our job now is to make the team an established contender," said Kirkham.

"I know that we can do it and if we can click straight away with the new bike and get a good start to the season then hopefully I can finally be in the top six for the Showdown! I have missed out twice and last season it was on the race count back as it was equal so hopefully 2014 is the year we can crack it!"

Team owner Dave Tyson added: "Last season we made our debut in the Superbike class and now for 2014 we want to build on that and hit the ground running when the season starts at Brands Hatch. We believe that with the combination of what we have already learnt as a team, plus Jon's ability we have the chance now to move forward next year and we will be pushing hard to try and secure a place for the first time in the Showdown."