World Superbike rider Jules Cluzel will return to the Supersport class next season as part of Yakhnich Motorsport's factory-backed MV Agusta effort, it has been announced.
The Frenchman, who finished runner-up to Kenan Sofuoglu during his first season of WSS racing in 2012, has been enlisted to spearhead the defence of Yakhnich's WSS title in place of Moto2-bound Sam Lowes.
However, while Lowes swept to the 2013 title aboard a Yamaha YZF-R6, Cluzel will ride MV Agusta machinery next season as part of a deal that will also see the Yakhnich run the Italian marque's return to Superbike competition in 2014.
A surprise return to WSS for Cluzel, who produced a series of standout performance in the World Superbike Championship with Fixi Crescent Suzuki in 2013, the youngster is nonetheless pleased to have the chance to go one better than he managed in 2012.
“Returning to Supersport as part of project like this, with a team who are reigning World Champions and a bike as competitive as the F3, gives me a magnificent opportunity to take the title that remained just out of reach in 2012”
Cluzel, who ended his rookie WSBK season 10th overall with a best finish of second place at Silverstone, will be joined in the Yakhnich MV Agusta team by Russian rider Vladimir Leonov, who remains will the Yakhnich outfit for a third season in a row.
MV Agusta enjoyed a successful return to WSS competition in 2013 under the stewardship of former champions ParkinGO, with Roberto Rolfo taking the new F3RR to two podiums en route to sixth overall, while series rookie Christian Iddon notched up a podium result at Magny-Cours too.