PTR Honda has confirmed the first of four riders it will enter into the 2014 World Supersport Championship by signing Jack Kennedy from rivals RivaMoto.
The 2012 British Supersport runner-up made his WSS debut with the Russian-financed RivaMoto Honda team in 2013, showing impressive consistency around unfamiliar circuits to score in all-but-two races.
With a best finish of sixth place, along with eight top ten finishes, propelling him to seventh in the overall standings as the highest-placed 'true' privateer, Irish racer Kennedy will switch teams in 2014 in an effort to emulate PTR alumni and countryman Eugene Laverty in challenging for the title.
“I am really excited for next year to be joining a proven team that has done well in the past – I am looking forward to working with Simon Buckmaster and PTR. I have got my learning year out of the way and now I know all the tracks.
“I want to be a regular podium finisher and there is no reason we cannot go for the Championship. I've ridden a Honda all this year, so staying with the same manufacturer is good. I am confident the PTR bike will be better, so hopefully it will make my job as a rider a bit easier.”
Kennedy's signing comes at the end of a dismal 2013 campaign for PTR Honda, a team that had contested the title in each of the preceding four seasons. Hampered by technical issues, injuries and several rider swaps, team manager Simon Buckmaster is optimistic Kennedy's arrival will see them challenging for the title again.
“We nearly signed Jack for 2013 and helped him to join the Championship. We have watched him with great interest all season as he has learned the tracks and got up to speed. There is no doubt in our minds he can be a Championship contender on our bike in his second year in the class.”
PTR, which has hinted it is considering entering the World Superbike Championship next season, confirmed it will at least run four riders in the World Supersport Championship next season. The team ran five riders in 2013, but each failed to reach the podium.