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Feb 5, 2012

Splitlath Redmond To Field John Laverty, Florian Marino In British Superbike Championship

John Laverty (left) and Florian Marino (right).

SPLITLATH Redmond is delighted to announce its 2012 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship rider line-up of John Laverty and Florian Marino.

Laverty, of Antrim, Northern Ireland and Marino of Le Cannet, France, will pilot a pair of Aprilia RSV4 machines for the new-look team as it makes its BSB debut as Splitlath Redmond this season.

Laverty, 29, returns to the Superbike class just nine months after a career-threatening crash at Oulton Park left him with multiple injuries. The 2008 British Superbike Cup champion broke numerous bones including knee, ankles, both shoulders and his pelvis in the crash and has spent several months on a tough recovery programme to get him back on his feet and ready to race again.

"I'm delighted to have signed to race for Splitlath Redmond this season, and it's brilliant that John Dimbylow and Derek Redmond have given me this opportunity," he said.

"When I first spoke to them last year I was quite taken aback that they wanted to sign me up given the injuries and the season I'd had. For me it was something special that they looked beyond last year and saw that it's not all about the past season.

"Once I knew I had a ride in place it gave me a little bit more of a target to work towards. The recovery has been going well with lots of physiotherapy, trips to see my osteopath and Derek has been helping out with some training advice he's a man who knows about injuries to the lower legs so it's nice to bounce ideas around with him.

"I imagine it will be a slow start to the season for me, but I will become stronger as it goes on and by the end of it we should be firing on all cylinders. Splitlath Redmond is a brand new team with a whole new crew so that works in my favour. We are all working towards the same goal that is to grow over the season so by the end we really can be mixing it at the sharp end."

Marino, meanwhile is stepping up to superbikes after a successful rookie World Supersport Championship season. Aged just 18, the former Ten Kate Honda rider finished eighth overall last year and was runner-up in the 2010 European Superstock 600 Championship. Now he is looking forward to making the transition to the bigger machine and racing in the world's most respected domestic Superbike series.

"I am proud to come and ride in such a high level internationally recognised championship as the BSB", he said. "I will approach this challenge with humility, take my time and above all finish the races thinking that each time I'll do better until I win.

"Regarding my new team, I'm bringing with me the knowledge I've gained during my WSS experience and I won't disappoint them. I appreciate the opportunity they're giving me to ride in the BSB Championship knowing that I'm young and I'll be learning a new class, a new bike and new tracks".

Co-owners John Dimbylow and Derek Redmond are excited about their strong line-up.

Dimbylow said: "This season we have signed two of the most talented riders around and have hand-picked an amazing crew to power them on the stunning Aprilia RSV4. John's results speak for themself and we're delighted to have signed him. With Florian we know we've got one of biggest up and coming stars on the world racing scene today.

"Splitlath Redmond is a new team with new riders and some very highly respected new crew members and we really believe this is going to be our season. We all want the same thing and everyone is working hard to achieve this goal together.

Derek Redmond added: "Our rider line-up is perfect for us. We've got John and his years of experience and proven history and then Florian who is such an exciting young rider. It's the perfect combination and we are set to make some great progress over the course of the season. I can't wait to get going!"

The 2012 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship roars into action over the Easter weekend at Brands Hatch in Kent and will be played out across 12 rounds in the UK and Europe.