PBM, Kawasaki deal signed and sealed.

Paul Bird Motorsport have concluded their agreement to become the official World Superbike racing partner of the Kawasaki team from 2009.

Although the deal was announced last week, only now has it been set in stone, with Paul Bird taking the opportunity to greet staff at the Kawasaki Motors Europe UK branch and prepare for next season.

Taking over from San Marino based concern PSG-1 Corse, PBM are looking to return Kawasaki to the front of the field in 2009 after several years spent chasing the tails of their four main rivals Ducati, Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha.

Indeed, with the WSBK grid expanding next year to include BMW and Aprilia, Bird is thrilled to be joining forces with a manufacturer that has featured heavily in his career.

"Working with a Japanese manufacturer - especially one with the engineering heritage of Kawasaki - was always a dream, but now it is reality. I can still hardly believe it,” he mused.

"I rode Kawasakis in motocross for ten years and won a few Northern Centre Championships along the way. To now be in this position, and having this immense responsibility, has only just started to sink in. I've got the team to do the job and, like me, they can't wait to develop the Ninja ZX-10R into a WSB podium contender.”

Kawasaki European race planning manager Steve Gutteridge is also excited about the future prospect of the team, which managed a best result of just eighth place in 2008.

"Today was just about the final few issues of our agreement. We have a great deal of respect for what Paul has achieved in racing and his enthusiasm is infectious. Already he has made plans for phase one of an extensive machine development and testing programme which bodes well for the future success of the partnership.”

Makoto Tamada and Broc Parkes will make up the team's rider line-up.

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