Gary Mason will return to the British Superbike Championship in 2009 with the target of securing title glory in the Cup class.
Although he was often the equal of Cup winner John Laverty in terms of speed, a late start to the season and a handful of failures to finish saw Mason finish third in the standings behind the Irishman and Martin Jessopp.
Nonetheless, Mason's ability is represented by the fact he finished as the highest Cup runner in the overall standings following a series of giant-killing performances on the Quay Garage Honda, particularly towards the end of the season.
As such, Mason confirmed to his local Tamworth Herald
newspaper that he will return to the team in 2009 for a full assault on the Cup title riding a 2007-specification Honda Fireblade.
"I'm looking forward to getting started again now. Last year was a decent year with quite a few podium finishes which is always good for the sponsors. I performed well all season. It was tricky earlier in the season juggling the Yamaha Cup and the Superbikes but I feel like I rode well so I'm pleased.
"The aim next season will be to win the Superbike Cup. It's achievable but not easy because of the unpredictability of the sport. I'm not taking anything for granted because you never know what can happen.
"It's not just down to your ability as a rider, there are a lot of factors involved but it's that unpredictability which makes it such an exciting sport to be involved in.”
Although a minor technical irregularity prevented Mason from finishing in a particularly noteworthy sixth overall at the penultimate Silverstone round, he has now set his sights on making amends in 2009.
"From my point of view though, I'd like to be consistent in the main championship as well and, perhaps, even break through into the top six. I believe that will be possible but we'll see how testing goes over the next couple of months."