As the 2003 British Superbike Championship season reaches the half way stage with the forthcoming round at Brands Hatch next month, the seemingly invincible MonsterMob Ducati Team have scored yet another success with the announcement that Vodka Kick will be partnering Paul Bird Motorsport as an associate sponsor for the remainder of the season.

GBL International Ltd, the Chesterfield-based company who own and produce the highly successful VK Vodka Kick brand, as well as the popular VK Energy Drink, got their first taste in superbikes with the team at the start of the season but such has been the phenomenal success of runaway Superbike championship leader Shane Byrne and defending Supersport champion Stuart Easton that they have increased their involvement in the sport.

The deal came about through both bosses being involved in car rallying whereby both Paul Bird and Steve Perez are ranked in the top 65 drivers in the country with the pair competing on similar events together.

Perez drives both a modern Mitsubishi Lancer and an historic Porsche whilst Bird contests events in a Hyundai Accent WRC.

"Both MonsterMob Ducati and VK have one thing in common and that is we are both driven by success. Both Steve and I understand the world of motor sport and enjoy getting away from the office to compete on various events when time allows and this is the start of what we hope will be a long term association," said Bird from his Penrith office.

Currently, 'Shakey' aboard his factory specification Ducati 998 F02, leads the British Superbike Championship by a massive 104 points after another pair of victories at the last round at Knockhill recently. In doing so, he became the first rider since 1997 to record three consecutive double wins and took his tally to the season to eight wins and two second places out of ten races. The most wins in a season is Niall Mackenzie who took 13 victories on his way to the title in 1997 and Byrne has set his sights on that target.

Bird meanwhile, ranked 26, is contesting the Kumho Tyres National Rally Championship as well as selected other events during the year in conjunction with his team's superbike commitments.

Although his team ran a semi-privateer Honda SP1 in 2000, since entering the British Superbike Championship in 2001 with Ducati, Bird's team, with backing from mobile phone and ringtone giants MonsterMob, have an enviable reputation in the class.

In the two and a half seasons to date, they have clocked up an amazing 28 race victories and 20 rostrum placings out of just 59 races started. Amazingly, the team have only two non-finishes to show which were Steve Hislop's infamous crash at Rockingham in 2001 and also a crank sensor failing at Oulton Park when 'Hizzy' was leading last season.

However, the immediate task in hand for the team is to represent Ducati at the Isle of Man TT races starting this weekend when two times winner John McGuinness takes over the F02 that is normally ridden by Byrne for the prestigious Formula One TT on Saturday 31st May and the Senior TT the following Friday as well as him using a 999 Ducati for Monday's Production Race.

Picture courtesy of Double Red.

 

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