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Easton confirmed on PBM Kawasaki for North West 200

MCE British Superbike contender Stuart Easton will return to the North West 200 in May with Paul Bird's Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki team
Scottish star Stuart Easton has been confirmed for the Vauxhall International North West 200 next month, when he will ride Paul Bird's Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki in the Superbike class.

The 30-year-old from Hawick is the reigning British Supersport champion but has stepped back up to BSB in Bird's team this year, completing his first test at Almeria alongside team-mate Shane 'Shakey' Byrne last week.

Easton, who ended the Spanish shakedown second fastest overall, will ride his BSB machine with a specially tuned engine at the North West 200 on May 17.

“The bike that I will race at the North West is the same bike that I will ride in BSB this year,” he said. “It is a great bit of kit and I feel comfortable on it. I just need to get enough practice and I will be ready to go.

“If we get the bike set up good and I can get a couple of good results in the opening BSB races I want to be challenging for a win at the North West,” he added.

“Tuning an engine for the North West is a bit of a black art but I know that PBM will have it covered and that the team's engine builder Frank Wrathall will give me a motor that will be up to the job.”

Easton has proved himself as an accomplished road racer, taking three wins at Macau and finishing as the runner-up to Alastair Seeley in the feature Superbike race at the North West 200 in 2010.

He battled all season long with Northern Ireland rider Seeley in the British Supersport Championship last year, eventually securing the title in a dramatic final round at Brands Hatch for the Mar-Train Racing team.

With Easton moving back to BSB this year, Seeley has taken over his place at Mar-Train and the pair will renew their rivalry on the roads at the North West next month.

Reflecting on last week's test at Almeria, Easton – who was caught out by the windy conditions on day one – said: “There was a lot of damage to the bike and it wasn't the way I had planned things for the first ride on the new bike on day one, but we regrouped and by the final day I was just 0.8 seconds off Shakey's best time.”

The North West 200 will be officially launched in Belfast today and a star-studded line-up for the race in May includes John McGuinness, Michael Dunlop, William Dunlop, Guy Martin, Michael Rutter, Bruce Anstey, Conor Cummins, Ryan Farquhar, Keith Amor, Josh Brookes, Ian Hutchinson, James Hillier, Martin Jessopp and Gary Johnson.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Stuart Easton on the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki
Senior TT race winner Michael Dunlop, runner-up Ian Hutchinson and John McGuinness
Sidecar crew Ian and Carl Bell
Andrew Soar.
Michael Dunlop on the Hawk Racing BMW in the Senior TT.
Ivan Lintin won the Lightweight TT on the Devitt RC Express Kawasaki.
Bruce Anstey, William Dunlop and Daley Mathison were the top three in the SES TT Zero race.
Bruce Anstey won the SES TT Zero race on the Mugen.
Ian Hutchinson o the Team Traction Control Yamaha R6 at the Isle of Man TT.
Ian Hutchinson on the Team Traction Control Yamaha in the second Monster Energy Supersport race at the Isle of Man TT.
Ian Hutchinson on the Tyco BMW Superstock machine at the Isle of Man TT.
Ian Hutchinson on his Tyco BMW Superstock machine at the Isle of Man TT.
Michael Dunlop on the Street Sweep Yamaha R6 at the Isle of Man TT.
Ian Hutchinson on the Team Traction Control Yamaha at the Isle of Man TT.
James Hillier on the Muc-Off Quattro Plant Kawasaki.
Michael Rutter on the Bathams SMT BMW at the Isle of Man TT
Paul Shoesmith was killed in a crash during a practice lap for the Isle of Man TT.
John McGuinness on the Honda Racing Fireblade at Ballacrye

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