Paul Bird has hailed the announcement he will run the official Kawasaki World Superbike team in 2009 as 'the stuff of dreams'.
The British-based outfit, which only made its WSBK debut in 2008, will run a pair of ZX-10Rs for Makoto Tamada and Broc Parkes in 2009 after their partnership was confirmed today.
Paul Bird, who has enjoyed considerable success as both a rider and a team owner over the years, will become the Kawasaki team boss, while the operation will be run out of a brand new workshop near to his Penrith home.
A substantial accolade for the team, which earned the kudos of being the top privateer outfit in this year's final standings, Bird was thrilled to be assuming the role of Kawasaki's official entry.
“It's amazing how far we have come in a short space of time and it's an honour to be representing one of the world's leading manufacturers” he said. “I remember watching the likes of Scott Russell and Akira Yanagawa being championship contenders on Kawasakis a few years ago and that is where we need to be again.”
Although Tamada endured a tough season at World Superbike level, Bird is pleased to be welcoming a rider with MotoGP experience under their belt, while the acquisition of Parkes, who was said to be on several teams' lists before penning a deal with Kawasaki, is seen as something of a coup.
“In Makoto Tamada, we have a rider who has won in MotoGP and WSB and who has lots of experience which will be vital in the early days and they don't come much more motivated than Broc Parkes.
“For our small team from 'Up North' to be given this opportunity is fantastic and we aim to repay Kawasaki with interest as this is the stuff of dreams.”