Kazuki Watanabe will switch to the World Superport championship in 2017 with Team Go Eleven Kawasaki having impressed on the national stage in Japan.

With a runner-up result at this year's Suzuka 8 Hours alongside BSB's Leon Haslam and Akira Yanagawa, Watanabe has enjoyed huge success in Japan having won the J-GP2 championship in 2012 and finishing third place in the Japanese Superbike series in 2015.

As a result, the highly-rated rider will switch to the international stage for 2017 with Team Go Eleven Kawasaki and is relishing the new challenge ahead of him.

"I am very excited to be a part of GOELEVEN and to ride a Kawasaki in the World Supersport Championship," Watanabe said. "2017 will be the very first year for me participating in a World Championship for the entire season.

"I am thrilled for the new challenge, and I will do my absolute best to achieve the best results, not only for myself but also for Team Go Eleven. Big thanks to Gianni Ramello, Luciana Fornaseri and Denis Sacchetti for giving me this exciting opportunity.

"I believe I will be able to discover my full potential as a rider throughout the year, and I will ride to win with my 'Samurai' spirit. And thank you to everyone who has supported me over the years."

Watanabe will team-mate British rider Gino Rea in the Team Go Eleven Kawasaki fold in World Supersport next year.



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