SMT Honda has signed Australian Jason O'Halloran for the 2009 British Superbike Championship, but has also retained its original 2008 rider Adam Jenkinson - who will step down to the Superstock class.
O'Halloran, the 2007 Australian Supersport Champion, will compete in the BSB series on a full time basis, having replaced the injured Jenkinson (and his substitute Tom Grant) for the final three rounds of this season.
Despite a punishing schedule that saw him flying back and forth between the UK and Australia to compete in the respective national championships, 20-year old O'Halloran scored points in five out of his six BSB races with a best finish of seventh at Silverstone.
The Aussie went on to finish fourth in the Australian Superbike Championship and will arrive in the UK in February in preparation for pre-season testing on the team's all new 2009 Honda Fireblades. O'Halloran will be based near the SMT headquarters at Skelmersdale.
Meanwhile, SMT will expand to a two-rider outfit in order to field Jenkinson in the Metzeler National Superstock Championship, also on a 2009 Fireblade.
The 24-year old was the team's original Superbike rider in 2008 and was sensational at the opening round at Thruxton where he ran inside the top six, but a crash saw him sustain serious breaks in both arms and he was cruelly forced to sit out the entire racing season.
Jenkinson is no stranger to the Superstock series having finished ninth overall in 2007, also notching up two rostrum finishes.
"We've got a really strong line-up for 2009 and we're delighted to have Jason and Adam on-board," said team owner Robin Croft. "Jason gelled with the team as soon as he came over to England and his talents were plain to see so we were determined to sign him as soon as we could. He's young, he's fast and he's also extremely determined so February can't come soon enough and we're confident we'll be challenging right from the very first round.
"We wanted to do all we could to keep Adam as well, after his terrible luck last year, and thanks to our loyal sponsors we've been able to do just that and expand the team to two riders," confirmed Croft. "This will be a full assault on the title and will give Adam the ideal opportunity to get back to the form he showed at the beginning of 2008 before, hopefully, moving back into the Superbike class in 2010."
2009 will mark SMT's third season in BSB.