Hislop won the 2002 British Superbike Championship under the Monstermob Ducati banner, have spoken of their sadness and shock at the untimely death of a man who took their team to the top.

"Steve rode for the team for two very successful seasons and gave us not only our first British Superbike title but our first World Championship pole position at Donington Park, all of which we will never forget," read a statement from the team.

"The combination of Paul Bird Motorsport and Steve Hislop proved the one to beat in 2001 and 2002 which culminated in him winning last season's Championship and in doing so completed his fairytale return to the top after injury and bad luck dogged his previous bids."

"We will forever be indebted to Steve for what he has done for us," stated team owner Paul Bird. "Its fair to say we wouldn't be where we are now if it wasn't for him. For now all our thoughts are with his dedicated mum Margaret and his two lovely children Connor and Aaron. All of us are going to miss him but we will all remember him very fondly."

Bird and Hislop split at the end of the 2002 season, with 'Hizzy' joining the Virgin Yamaha team - before leaving just a few weeks ago after finding the four-cylinder R1 hard to adapt to. He was due to rejoin the series with the ETI Ducati team at the next round.

Meanwhile, Monstermob are currently leading the 2003 championship with Shane Byrne, who also took a double triumph as a wild-card at the Brands Hatch WSBK event. The team now look set to step up to the world stage, with Byrne, next season.



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