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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
Dean Harrison on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki in the Senior TT.
Peter Hickman in the Senior TT on the Smiths BMW.
Michael Dunlop on the Bennetts Suzuki in the Senior TT.
Bruce Anstey on his way to victory in the TT Zero race.
Guy Martin on the Honda Racing Superbike.
Alan Bonner was killed in an incident at the 33rd Milestone.
Jochem van den Hoek.
Michael Rutter took victory in the Lightweight TT on the Italian Paton.
Dan Kneen celebrates with his team after sealing his maiden Isle of Man TT rostrum in the Superstock race.
Ian Hutchinson celebrates his Superstock victory.
Ian Hutchinson on his way to victory in the Superstock TT on the Tyco BMW.
Davey Lambert in the RST Superbike race.
A Sidecar narrowly missed spectators in an incident that was captured in a video posted on YouTube.
James Hillier on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki in the opening Supersport TT race.
Michael Dunlop in the Supersport TT.
Michael Dunlop on his Yamaha in the Supersport TT.
Peter Hickman claimed his maiden podium at the Isle of Man TT with a runner-up finish in the RST Superbike race.

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