Stuart Easton is to swell the British contingent at this weekend's World Superbike Championship round at Assen after receiving a last-minute request to replace the injured Broc Parkes.
Lead rider Parkes has been forced to fly home to Australia to undergo surgery for a shoulder injury sustained earlier in the week whilst testing for the Paul Bird Kawasaki team at Snetterton.
As Kawasaki's official development and test rider, Easton has duly been called upon to make his WSBK debut alongside Makoto Tamada. It is an opportunity he is thrilled to have been given.
I couldn't believe it when the call came in from Paul, I didn't need to be asked twice, that's for sure,” Easton, who races for Hydrex Honda in the British Superbike Championship.
“It's a brilliant opportunity for me and I'm really looking forward to working with the team in a race environment rather than just testing"
For team owner Paul Bird, Easton was always his number one choice to replace Parkes having conducted plenty of miles with the manufacturer over recent months.
"When it became apparent that Broc couldn't ride this weekend, I had no reservations about calling Stuart to deputise and he will be a more than able replacement this weekend. He knows the bike and works well with the team but there is absolutely no pressure on him at all.”
Easton last raced on the international stage in 2006 when he competed in ten races for the Ducati SC team in the World Supersport Championship.