James Westmoreland is set to return to the MCE British Superbike championship after signing with Gearlink Kawasaki for 2017.
The Hull-based rider stepped down to the British Supersport championship last year and finished runner-up behind Tarran Mackenzie and is relishing the opportunity to return to BSB this year.
"I'm really pleased to join Gearlink Kawasaki for this season and to be back in the Superbike Championship after a really good season in the Supersport class,” Westmoreland said. “I've known Michael and Norma [de Bidaph] for many years and I'm happy to be joining their team and the Superbike project - I really appreciate the opportunity.
“I'm looking forward to riding the latest Kawasaki ZX-10R and getting testing underway now. I have some fond memories already of the ZX-10R from my podium in 2015 and I am very motivated to repeat that.
“The Superbike class looks to be one of the most competitive in years and I'm really pleased to be part of it. I really want to show what I am capable of and I know that the Gearlink Kawasaki team will support me all the way."
Team boss Michael de Bidaph, who worked with Westmoreland at the final round of the 2015 BSB season when he acted as stand-in at Brands Hatch, is thrilled to secure the former rostrum winner and despite the ultra-competitive grid this year.
"Having been in talks with James Westmoreland over the last month or so we are thrilled to have now secured a deal that suits both parties,” de Bidaph said. “James and I both realise that this is bound to be another tough year in the Superbike class but I am sure that we can have a competitive season especially as he rode our Superbike at the last round in 2015 so we already know how to work with each other."
After back-to-back runner-up finishes in British Supersport in 2009 and 2010 Westmoreland enjoyed a five-year stint in BSB which culminated in a maiden podium with JG Speedfit Kawasaki at Thruxton in 2015.
The Yorkshire-based rider demonstrated his pace back in British Supersport with TTC Yamaha finishing second in the championship for a third season which secured his jump back to BSB this year.