Parkalgar Honda team manager Simon Buckmaster assesses the young British stars looking to break into the World Superbike or Supersport Championship next season - and reveals those he is already in discussions with for a race seat.
Following the tragic loss of Craig Jones, Parkalgar will field American Josh Hayes alongside Miguel Praia in the three remaining rounds of the 2008 world championship, starting this weekend in Vallelunga.
"There are just three rounds remaining in this year's World Supersport Championship but even now our team is signing its riders for 2009 if we want to be able to continue to challenge for the title," Buckmaster wrote in his latest column for the Parkalgar team website.
"It is refreshing to be in this position and have quite a few British riders to take into serious consideration to head up our team. Let's take a look at the array of talent now waiting to break into the World Superbike and Supersport Championship.
"Tom Sykes is already confirmed as signed up for the Santander Yamaha WSB team and what a great opportunity for him in this highly respected and successful squad. It's also great for British Superbikes to again be feeding a Brit into the World Superbike Championship where we have been so successful with the likes of Fogarty, Hodgson and Toseland. Well he is already sorted so let's look at the rest.
"Cal Crutchlow as the 2006 British Supersport Champion is ready having successfully moved to Superbikes with Rizla Suzuki and won races this year for HM Plant Honda. He is ready and oh so eager to make the jump into World Championship racing. I know he has been in talks with the Yamaha WSS team and is on our list of riders we are trying to sign. I know Cal will get a deal and I am sure he will make himself and England proud next year as he follows in Johnny Rea's footsteps and mounts a challenge to the current front runners for the World Supersport title.
"On the subject of Johnny Rea, he has proved this year what a good talented rider can do in his first year by running in the top three for the title and winning races. In some ways what he has done and what Cal will do is less pressure whilst you learn the circuits and life in the World paddock than the job Tom Sykes has in the full factory Yamaha squad
"Eugene Laverty is also looking to come to the World Supersport paddock having been unsuccessful in landing a top 250 GP bike to enable him to show the world what he can really do. I know he has had two years in the virtual wilderness in 250 GP but mark my words, Norge is a serious talent and I believe will run up front from the word go in WSS in 2009.
"With opportunities in our team, Stiggy Motorsport and Yamaha, Eugene should find a berth and give us all another Brit (Irish if he prefers) to cheer about. He is having two rides this year for Yamaha but at Donington his only dry track time was the race so his 12th place finish was better than it looked on paper and his times at the end of the race were on the leading pace.