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'Shakey' targets record fourth MCE BSB title as Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki confirm 2013 line-up

Monday, November 19 2012

Reigning MCE Insurance British Superbike champion Shane 'Shakey' Byrne will return to defend his title in Paul Bird's Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki team as the triple title-winner will be joined by reigning National Superstock 1000 champion Keith Farmer for the 2013 season.

Byrne claimed his third crown at Brands Hatch in October and now has his sights fixed firmly on securing an unprecedented fourth title as he returns to defend his number one plate for the first time. The Kent ace is bidding to become the most successful rider in the history of the Championship with just two race victories separating him from the all time winning record of 43 set by fellow triple champion Ryuichi Kiyonari.   

Farmer progresses to the premier BSB class following two consecutive National Superstock Championship titles in two years in the 600cc and 1000cc classes respectively. His 2012 campaign on the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki ZX-10 featured eight podium finishes including five wins resulting in a winning margin of 50 points.

Byrne and Farmer will again line up with the recognisable Rapid Solicitors livery after PBM confirmed that the partnership with one of the UK's largest Personal Injury Specialist Solicitors will remain as the team's title sponsor for a second consecutive season.

Byrne said: "I was in the enviable position of being offered a ride in either MotoGP or BSB by Paul Bird and after some careful consideration; I thought that the option of staying with my championship-winning team on a great bike in BSB was too strong a temptation to resist. We are within sight of some records and so for the first time ever in my career, I am riding for the same team again but it wasn't really a difficult decision to make. We are going into 2013 even stronger and with a few improvements to the bike as well as me training harder than ever, I'm hoping I can defend the title but it won't be easy. The one remaining decision I have to make is whether I run with my traditional number 67 or I use the number one plate, you'll have to wait and see!"

Farmer said: "I don't know how to put into words how happy I am to be riding for the Paul Bird Motorsport Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki team on board a Superbike this year. I thought last year was a big year for me but it keeps getting bigger and better. I am also very pleased that Shakey is my team mate as he helped me a lot this year. I can't thank Paul and rest of the team enough, he said from the end of the season he would look after me and yet again he has stuck by his word and put me on a Superbike, so all I can do is show him my thanks and get up front with reigning British Superbike champion Shakey as that's how we roll!" 

Team Owner Paul Bird concluded: "I'm delighted that we are back in BSB and that Shakey and Keith will be riding for us. We came back to Britain for one thing only and that was for us to win the title and now we aim to defend it as we've never had a rider do that. Shakey proved he was the dominant force last season and there's no reason why he can't do it again. Keith is a very talented rider who we aim to develop in forthcoming seasons and it's great that him and Shakey get on really well as he can learn a lot. We are also committed to MotoGP and will be making an announcement soon on our plans in that series."