Having been shown the door by the Tech3 Yamaha team at the end of the 2007 MotoGP season, Makoto Tamada is to switch to the World Superbike Championship for the 2008 campaign.

The Japanese rider took a podium finish in his debut MotoGP season back in 2003 and went on to win twice in 2004 but has struggled ever since - with a switch from Bridgestone to Michelin tyres leading to two tough years with the Konica Minolta Honda squad before an uninspiring 2007 with Herve Poncharal's team led to him losing his MotoGP ride.

With no ride available to remain in the MotoGP paddock, Tamada will now turn his focus to Superbikes after concluding a deal that will see him replace Fonsi Nieto in the factory-backed PSG-1 Kawasaki line-up.

It will mark a return to the Superbike paddock for Tamada, who was the only person other than Troy Bayliss and Colin Edwards to win a race during the 2002 season - when he snared victory at Sugo while riding as a wild card entry.

Tamada will partner Regis Laconi in 2008, with the Frenchman returning for another season onboard the ZX-10R.


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