Five-time MCE British Superbike champion Shane Byrne has re-signed with Be Wiser Ducati on a two-year deal as he aims to retain his title in 2017.
The most successful rider in BSB history has put speculation surrounding his future to rest by re-signing with Paul Bird's squad as he hunts an unprecedented sixth championship.
Last year Byrne fought off competition from Leon Haslam to claim a fifth BSB crown at Brands Hatch to go alongside his 2003, 2008, 2012 and 2014 titles.
Be Wiser Ducati is expected to announce its full rider line-up in BSB for 2017 in the coming weeks.
“It's the first time we've offered a two-year deal to any of our riders in over 20 years so that is how significant we look at what Shakey and Ducati brings to the team," Team owner Paul Bird said.
“To win the championship in our first year back with Ducati was a fantastic achievement for PBM, Shakey and the whole team, why would we want to change anything? He asked about a two-year deal, we were comfortable offering it so he's happy and we are happy.
“As they say, a happy rider is a fast rider so the plan is to win the title again for the next two years with Shakey, but we know it won't be easy.”
At the announcement Byrne reflected on his success with Paul Bird Motosport and having switched manufacturers last year and stormed to the BSB title in his first season back with Ducati.
“I am so happy to have signed this new deal with Paul," Byrne said. "The really strange thing for me is this is the first time that I have agreed a two year contract in BSB and I have a massive grin on my face! We have such a huge amount of mutual respect and we both know that we always give one hundred percent from both sides.
“I'm personally feeling remarkably proud of everything we achieved, not only this year, but in all the years I've ridden for Paul. He's played such a massive part in my success, and together we now have another shot at two titles, and who knows how many more.
“It has been an amazing season; to take a brand new bike and turn it into a championship winner is a testament to all the hard work myself and the team put in during the season.
“I am so, so happy to have the opportunity to fight for another two titles; the fifth one was the groundwork, the foundations, and now I want to continue the success. I only ever want to line up on the grid to win races and fight for championships.”