Peter Hickman has joined JG Speedfit Kawasaki for the 2016 MCE British Superbike championship and will combine his efforts as the team's leading rider on the road racing scene.
The fastest ever Isle of Man TT newcomer will team-mate James Ellison for GBmoto Racing in the 2016 BSB championship and also becomes the team's sole challenger at the North West 200, Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix.
The announcement comes as JG Speedfit Kawasaki begins its winter testing schedule as both Ellison and Hickman get to grips with the all-new Kawasaki ZX-10R alongside the World Superbike squad of Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes in Spain.
Hickman, who claimed two podium finishes this season in BSB having taken a maiden victory in 2014, says he's thrilled to make the move and is already setting his sights on the Showdown next year.
“I'm really pleased to be joining Mark and the GBmoto squad again,” Hickman said. “They're an incredibly professional outfit and with the factory support from Kawasaki, coupled with the awesome new ZX-10R, it's the best package on the grid.
“I'm also really excited to be working with James as a team mate, it's the first time I've ever had a genuine title challenger sharing the garage with me! The goal for BSB this year is of course to first be in the Showdown, but also challenging for podiums and wins.”
Hickman will compete for JG Speedfit Kawasaki on the roads in the Superbike and Superstock 1000 class as he looks to continue the impressive progress he's already achieved in recent years, having also taken his first win at the Ulster Grand Prix this year.
“I'm really looking forward to getting the Kawasaki out on the Roads too,” he explained. “It will be the first time I've ridden a different bike at the North West, TT and Ulster, but the new Superbike is an absolute weapon on paper and with factory support, I see no reason why it won't relate to the track.
“To get the first win this year was incredible, and although it takes a lot of luck I definitely think we'll be able to challenge at the front in 2016.”
Team principal Mark Smith-Halvorsen, who has now secured his full squad of riders, title sponsor and backing as the official Kawasaki-supported entry in BSB, is confident Hickman can make his team a potent force on both the roads and short circuits.
“I'm really pleased to have Peter back with the team for 2016,” Smith-Halvorsen said. “Over the last couple of years he's proven to be one of the rare breed of riders who is capable of not only running at the front of the British Superbike championship but also compete for glory on the Roads.
“Our aim for next season is to get him into the BSB Showdown along with James, he's shown he can secure podiums and race wins and I'm confident that with the JG Speedfit Kawasaki package he'll be able to challenge for the same every weekend.
“On the Roads side of things, we're under no illusions as to how tough it is to run at the front and secure a podium. It will be only our second year competing between the hedges, but Peter has shown his incredible talent, remaining the fastest ever newcomer to the TT as well as setting the eighth fastest lap in history around the course and also securing an Ulster Grand Prix win in only his second year.”