Experienced race engineer Trevor Morris has joined the Chinese-backed Maxtra 125cc project to head the new team's pit crew as the all-new grand prix machine prepares to make its racing debut in 2009.

The 49-year-old Englishman has more than 25 years of continuous experience in grand prix racing, working in top factory teams with a series of famous riders.

Morris first worked in the pits in 1980, in British championship racing with constructor and entrant Norman White. His talent was immediately spotted and he moved directly into grand prix racing in 1981, fettling the 350cc Yamahas of world champion Jon Ekerold.

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His next move was to German rider Martin Wimmer in the 250 class, and in 1986 he was snapped up by the factory Yamaha team run by Giacomo Agostini in the premier 500cc class.

Working with top riders and gaining priceless experience, Morris was with the team until its demise; after which he spent three years with the 500cc GP squad of Juan Garriga.

In 1993 Morris joined the factory Honda team, working first with Japanese rider Shinichi Itoh. He remained with Honda until the end of 2007, fettling 250cc, 500cc and MotoGP machines for race winners including title runner-up Tohru Ukawa and future MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden.

From 2005 to 2007 he worked with the Scot Honda team, with rider Yuki Takahashi.

In 2008, after 28 years in the GP paddock, Morris took a break - but he will return next season with the fledgling Maxtra project.

"I've been involved in the early tests and it's a really exciting and technically interesting project," he said.

"I'm under no illusion that it's going to be easy. The 125 class is very, very competitive, and with restricted practice sessions and only one machine per rider you have very little time to get everything right.

"But I wouldn't have taken the job if I didn't feel the machine and the team were well capable of achieving success."

Project leader Garry Taylor was delighted at securing his services.

"Trevor is a key appointment for the team and really knows his way around racing bikes and GP racing. He is a very valuable addition to the team," he said.

"Both John Surtees and I were very careful to take on the right person. We initially made a short list, and Trevor was right at the top from the start. We then asked two people whose opinion we greatly valued, Alberto Puig and Jerry Burgess who they would recommend, and without knowledge of our list they both immediately suggested Trevor, which was all the confirmation we needed," added Taylor.

The innovative Maxtra 125, with its 'upside-down' engine layout, is midway through an intensive testing and development programme, and the team recently announced that Austrian Michael Ranseder will be one of its two race riders.