RC Express Racing has confirmed that Ivan Lintin and Steve Mercer will spearhead its road racing challenge in 2017.
The announcement comes after the exciting news last week that Liverpool Football Club Chief Executive Ian Ayre has joined the team in the role of Sporting Chairman.
Lintin remains with the team for a third straight season, when he will bid for an unprecedented treble in the Lightweight race at the Isle of Man TT after winning the race for the past two seasons.
The Lincolnshire rider is also targeting a clean sweep in the class at the North West 200, TT and Ulster Grand Prix for Ben and Roy Constable's Bristol-based team.
Lintin will also be aiming to build on his results on the bigger capacity machines after sealing an excellent 10th place in the Senior TT, setting a new personal best lap of 127.948mph.
The 32-year-old said: “The confidence that I have in the RC Express Supertwin and the overall performance of the bike and team, has shown with our dominance this season.
“Defending the title at the TT this year did carry some pressure, but having achieved that win, which was so important for everyone, I feel confident that next season will actually be somewhat easier. I am continually improving with the bike, strengthening my performance as a rider and I can only see us building upon our success in 2017 and more specifically dominating on the Supertwin.”
Lintin has also set himself a goal of breaking the 130mph barrier at the TT on the Kawasaki ZX-10R.
“I'm continuing to improve on the Kawasaki ZX-10R Superbike and with a new personal best lap around the Mountain Course in 2016, I feel even more confident of moving towards a 130mph lap and becoming a regular top ten finisher in races like the Senior,” said Lintin, who missed this year's Ulster Grand Prix after undergoing an operation on an injured finger.
“This will be my third year with the team and that consistency will be a major benefit. We're certainly growing as a collective unit and there are some significant plans for the future so it's certainly a great time to be part of RC Express Racing.”
Kent's Mercer, meanwhile – who filled in for Lintin at Dundrod and impressed with eighth and ninth places in the Superbike races – completes a strong line-up for the team.
“I'm absolutely thrilled to be joining the RC Express Racing team for 2017,” Mercer said.
“Having stood in at the last minute for Ivan at this year's Ulster Grand Prix, it was great working with Ben and Roy and, more significantly, having someone with the experience of Danny [Horne] alongside me during the event.
“There was an immediate connection with the entire team and with so much energy surrounding the operation, it made me feel very relaxed riding the bike, which showed with my results and lap times, including a personal best lap around Dundrod,” he added.
“We struck up a conversation at the recent Macau Grand Prix and soon agreed a deal and it's a great opportunity for 2017 to build myself as a rider with an aspirational, successful and growing team.”
Roy Constable, Team Co-owner, says he is confident 2017 will be the strongest year yet for RC Express Racing.
“Ivan has been instrumental for the team and established himself as the leading Supertwin rider,” he said.
“We have set some ambitious targets for the new season and I believe that Ivan will continue to dominate his position in the class as well as build more competitively on the larger capacity machines.
“It will be our third year together and I firmly believe it will be our strongest yet. Our key target will be a triple of wins across the three main International races,” added Constable.
“RC Express and Ivan have grown together and I'm sure that 2017 will be another successful chapter for both rider and team.”
On new signing Mercer, Constable said he quickly realised the 34-year-old would make an excellent addition to the team.
“Steve was an 11th hour announcement at the 2016 Ulster Grand Prix and there was an immediate connection between him and the entire team,” he said.
“He was outstanding at the event considering the very limited time that he had on the bike prior to the race setting a personal best at Dundrod on the Superbike. We immediately felt that he could be part of our future plans and engaged discussions with him at the recent Macau Grand Prix.
“Steve had an outstanding 2016 Isle of Man TT and I feel that with the support RC Express Racing can offer, he will build and develop further as a rider,” he added.
“We would expect Steve to increase his lap times at events like the TT and break into the 130mph club. With our infrastructure, professionalism and support, I see no reason why Steve cannot secure some podiums along the way.”