2018 Pirelli National Superstock 600 champion Ryan Vickers will make his Bennetts British Superbike Championship debut next year, signing for the title-contending RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki team it has been announced.
19-year-old Vickers from Thetford lifted the Superstock 600 title at Silverstone in September, having dominated the season securing nine of the eleven victories to date ahead of the final race of the season at Brands Hatch later today.
The move comes for the talented youngster following the departure of Jake Dixon from the team to the Moto2 World Championship as the RAF Marham based squad continue to nurture upcoming talent.
Vickers said: “This is an amazing opportunity to move into the British Superbike Championship with the perfect team. Lee, Glen and the whole RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki team have done an incredible job this year. I have been speaking with Lee a lot, and they like developing young riders and they have done that with Jake since he joined the team and I want to follow in his footsteps as together they have done an amazing job.”
“I ended last year well and it was looking good for this year to come and try and win the Superstock 600 Championship this year. It has been really positive and I have learnt a lot and it felt great to win the title. I look at the move next year as another learning curve for me. Last year I went from a CB500 to a 600 which was also a huge jump so I just want to take next year as it comes.”
“I think having fast riders throughout the grid in BSB will help to push me too and it brings you on faster so I am looking forward to the challenge. It is a brilliant opportunity for me and so I am looking forward to progressing and I can’t thank the team and all of my personal sponsors and management for giving me the opportunity to take the next step in my career.”
Team Owner Lee Hardy commented: “We are excited to announce that Ryan is joining us for our 2019 season, having followed his rapid progression through the support classes, he has certainly been the standout rider in the Superstock 600 class. He also lives locally to the team, so in his first full season in Superbike we can work closely together at our team base at Swaffham in Norfolk.”
“We are also delighted to announce the Royal Air Force will continue to be our leading partner for the 2019 season, continuing to actively promote RAF Regular and Reserve Recruitment through the Bennetts British Superbike Championship platform. We showed with Jake how you work together to learn the Superbike and then to turn that into becoming a title contender.”