Owner of the PBM team, Paul Bird, visited Kawasaki Motors UK on Friday 7 November to conclude the last areas of his agreement with the Japanese manufacturer in becoming their official World Superbike racing partner.
Paul and Steve Guttridge, Kawasaki's European Race Planning Manager, discussed the final elements of the complex agreement during a busy schedule, which included a tour of Kawasaki Motors Europe's UK branch facility and a chance to meet office staff.
Upon signing the last of the contractual paperwork, Paul Bird admitted that the association with Kawasaki was a dream come true. "Working with a Japanese manufacturer - especially one with the engineering heritage of Kawasaki - was always a dream, but now it is reality. I can still hardly believe it".
Already having a long association with the brand from his time as a competitive motocross rider, Bird was keen to see not just the new 2009 Ninja ZX-10R, which his World Superbike race machines will be based on, but also the latest KX450F four stroke motocross machine.
"I rode Kawasakis in motocross for ten years and won a few Northern Centre Championships along the way. To now be in this position, and having this immense responsibility, has only just started to sink in. I've got the team to do the job and, like me, they can't wait to develop the Ninja ZX-10R into a WSB podium contender", continued Bird.
Steve Guttridge shared Bird's optimism for the project. "Today was just about the final few issues of our agreement. We have a great deal of respect for what Paul has achieved in racing and his enthusiasm is infectious. Already he has made plans for phase one of an extensive machine development and testing programme which bodes well for the future success of the partnership".