Hydrex Honda has officially confirmed that it will field Karl Harris and Stuart Easton in the 2009 British Superbike Championship, in addition to its road racing campaign with Guy Martin.
Harris returns to Hydrex after an unlucky, injury littered, 2008 season at Rob Mac Yamaha, which yielded just a single podium finish and eleventh place in the championship standings.
Harris, a former European Superstock and multiple British Supersport champion, admits that 2009 will be a 'big year' for him and he has made many off track changes as he seeks to finally score a debut BSB win.
"This is a big year for me and I'm determined to make it a success,” said Karl. “I've totally changed my routines, I have a new personal trainer and I am fully focused on winning races in 2009. I had so much bad luck last year, I must have got it all out of my system and to be offered the chance to work with the Hydrex team again is fantastic."
Harris will be joined by another former British Supersport champion in the shape of Easton, who won the recent Macau Grand Prix for the Hydrex team in Doosan colours.
Easton (pictured signing for Hydrex) raced for MSS Discovery Kawasaki in 2008, netting a best BSB finish of fifth and 13th in the championship, despite being sidelined by injury during the middle part of the season. Following his Macau success, Muir acted quickly to sign the Hawick rider, who was also being targeted by a number of rival teams.
"Working with the team in Macau was a real pleasure and the bike was one of the best I've ever ridden," said Easton. "As soon as Shaun [Muir] talked to me about this season in BSB, I knew I had to be on that bike as it really is capable of winning the championship. I'm really fired up for next season and can't wait to start testing as we have a real chance of success."
Easton's deal includes a return to Macau to defend his title.
"In Karl and Stuart, we have a pair of young and hungry riders who are determined to make the most of this opportunity in BSB and I have every confidence in them,” said team principal Shaun Muir. “Mick Shanley and Stuart's new Chief Engineer Pete Jennings are both determined to bring success for their riders and we expect to be in contention for the championship from the first round.”
Martin's road-only deal had already been announced and the 27-year-old will concentrate solely on the four big road race meetings; the North West 200, Isle of Man TT, Ulster Grand Prix and Macau.
"I had lots of options for 2009 but I've always said that bosses don't come much better than Shaun and we knew we had to do things a bit differently if we were to remain together," he said. "I'm not into all this flashy PR stuff so with his and Hydrex's blessing, I'm going to do my own thing and to try to win the big road races. I have my own team around me and that's important so it's looking good, driver."
"Guy is the best current road racer yet to win a TT and I'm sure he'll put that right this year as he's now got the package that he wants in order to do that. Hopefully, 2009 will be our year!" said Muir.