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Feb 1, 2012

MSS Colchester Kawasaki Announces 2012 British Superbike Rider Lineup

MSS COLCHESTER KAWASAKI ANNOUNCE RUTTER AND HICKMAN IN 2012 LINE UP

The MSS Colchester Kawasaki team has today (Wednesday) announced their line-up for the 2012 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship as Michael Rutter and Peter Hickman switch to Kawasaki power before the season gets underway at Brands Hatch on Easter weekend (6 9 April).

Rutter is one of the most experienced riders in BSB with over 360 race starts and 28 race wins to his credit. 'The Blade' returns to the team he last raced with in 2007 after just missing out the Showdown last year following a crash at Cadwell Park that left him sidelined with broken ribs. However after winning the Macau GP at the end of last year for a record seventh time he is relishing the return to the team and to Kawasaki.

Rutter said: "This is going to be an interesting year for everybody, but I have obviously been with Nick and the team before so know what to expect from them and I am looking forward to getting back on the Kawasaki again. I know the power is good and having watched the riders clocking up podiums last year, I could see the whole machine is a good package. I missed out on the top six in the Showdown last season through that crash but this year I want to be back in that top six again. We need to be aiming for results early on as I also think that the bikes will change a lot during the season so it is important to score well from the start. I am definitely hoping that some of my experience of all the different bikes over the years will benefit me."

Hickman lines up alongside Rutter in the team after securing a maiden BSB podium finish last season and he was another rider to only narrowly miss out on the cut for the top six in the Showdown before ending the season in ninth place. Hickman already has a history of riding Kawasakis in both the Superstock and Superbike classes and is looking forward to riding the new ZX-10R this season.

Hickman said: "I've been talking to Nick for a couple of years but it came together for 2012 over the winter and I've got to say I'm really chuffed to be with such an established team. I keep coming back to Kawasaki; I won the Superstock Cup in 2004 on one and raced one again in Superstock in 2005 before two years on the Hawk Kawasaki bike in 2006-7 with some really good results in the first year.

"The new rules in BSB should maybe close the gap but I'm sure it will still be the same faces up the front. I'm bringing my crew chief with me so it will be good to have a bit of consistency and I know Nick runs a great team. I feel like I've earned my place on the BSB grid now and with this package and team there's no reason why we can't be aiming for the top six, even with such a strong field. I have more to prove this year and I am really excited about getting started so I just can't wait now for Brands Hatch and the start of the season," added Hickman.

Team Manager Nick Morgan concluded: "We have an interesting line-up for this year that will hopefully cause some surprises. Michael needs no introduction and possesses such experience that will see him snatch results when they're least expected. From my perspective it's a good opportunity for a new rider like Hicky to come in and learn from Michael. I think he's a really underrated rider who's worked hard to get where he has. Last season saw some great rides, maybe he could benefit from some more direction and it will all click into place.

"One thing we did last year that turned a few heads was run to the 2012 spec before the end of the season. We didn't set the world alight but we logged up days and days of data at different tracks on how the new ZX-10R reacts when using the new engine spec regulations and Motec ECU. This means when we come to start testing in Spain we won't have to re-invent the wheel and will be able to utilise that information to fine tune the bikes to Michael and Hicky," continued Morgan.