Carl Phillips will move up to the British Superbike championship with Gearlink Kawasaki in 2018.

Phillips will make his debut in BSB having graduated from the National Superstock 1000 championship and switches to the Gearlink Kawasaki squad for his rookie campaign.

The Northern Irish rider finished runner-up in the 2016 National Superstock 600 series and has hailed the opportunity as a dream fulfilled.

“It’s a dream come true for me and I have to pinch myself sometimes, but I’m going to be realistic about what to expect this year,” Phillips said. “I’ve always wanted the chance to race in British Superbikes but I know how hard it is going to be because there is so much depth to the field.

“There is no real pressure from the team and most of that will come from myself. I just want to keep improving and try and match the pace of the other rookies and maybe score some points throughout the year.

“For me, that would be fantastic and I’ll be working as hard as I can to try and make sure that I stay in the class the following season. I’m already thinking about that and it’s important to try and have a good crack at it.

“I am very grateful to Norma and Michael de Bidaph for their support in making this happen and I was so sad to learn of Norma’s passing at the end of last year. It is a fitting tribute to her memory that the team is continuing on this season.”

Phillips has previously competed for the Gearlink Kawasaki team at the Sunflower Trophy races in Northern Ireland during a one-off appearance in 2016 when he finished third in both Supersport races.

The Gearlink Kawasaki squad has a shakedown test is planned at Brands Hatch on the 17th February and Phillips will also participate in a three-day test at Cartagena in Spain from 3-5th March.

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Man, I didn't know that Norma had died! Sad, sad news and a great loss to the BSB paddock. 

@Braaahp

It was reported on a couple of other news sites, unfortunately Crash didn't deem it worthy of an article which I found to be disappointing.

Yes, she was kind of the social centre of the paddock. I remember talking to her on a Thursday evening at Brands and as people arrived they all seemed to check in with her and if you wanted to know what was going on you just asked her - she'll be much missed and it's good to hear that Michael is continuing with the green and orange bikes because I've got no doubt it's what she would have wanted.

She parked her motorhome right outside the bar at Thruxton either last year or the year before and then complained about the late finish of the DJ if I recall - definately a character, I'm sure she'll be missed.

Like the other contributors,this was the first i'd heard.Sincere condolences to Michael and everyone at Gearlink.

Norma epitomised what BSB was all about-a tight knit family but not exclusive to the priveliged few.

Very sad news.