Double BSB champions from 2002, Paul Bird Motorsport have announced that Shane Byrne will join Stuart Easton in the MonsterMob Ducati team for the 2003 British Championship season.

25-year-old Byrne, from Sittingbourne in Kent, will replace British Superbike Champion Steve Hislop aboard the 998cc Ducati Testastretta and having finished fourth in this season's title chase on his first year with Ducati, 'Shakey' is confident of success.

"I've learned a lot from this season and can't wait to start testing," said Byrne. "The opportunity to join the most successful team in the British Championship at present was one I didn't have to think twice about. I've been so excited about this since Paul Bird told me the deal was on and I'm confident we can have a very successful time next season in the British Superbike Championship".

Winner of the National Supersport title last season, 18 year old Scot Stuart Easton has re-signed for the team for a fourth successive year and will defend his title aboard the all-conquering 748cc Ducati. The Hawick rider won seven races last season as well as scoring world championship points at Brands Hatch and is planning on continuing his domination.

"I have never raced two consecutive seasons on the same bike so I'm hoping the experience I gained this year will come in handy next season when the championship reverts back to British level," noted Easton. "I know the competition will be stronger but I also know that both the bike and I are capable of winning again".

For team boss Paul Bird, who has endured the wrath of Hislop fans since announcing he wasn't renewing the Scot's contract, is also confident that this team can achieve the same level of success next season,

"This is the start of our three year plan to take some very good and in particular, young British riders into the world championship, hopefully with ourselves," commented Bird. "Both Shane and Stuart have talent in abundance and I see no reason why both shouldn't make it to the very top".

Mobile phone entertainment and communications specialists MonsterMob have also agreed to the title sponsorship of the team for a third successive year and along with Fuchs Silkolene, will be sporting the majority of logos on the Ducatis.

"We are proud of what Paul and his team have done for both ourselves and motorcycle racing in general and we are very happy to maintain our association with his team. Hopefully, Shane can emulate Steve's success and Stuart can continue his rise to stardom next season" said Managing Director Martin Higginson.

The MonsterMob Ducati riders will kick off their season with a couple of tests in Spain prior to the season starting at Silverstone on March 30th 2003.



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