Friday November 28th 2003 -- Former Grand Prix racer Sean Emmett will spearhead MonsterMob Ducati's campaign for a third successive British Superbike Championship title in 2004. The 33 year old from Weybridge, Surrey will replace Moto GP...
Friday November 28th 2003 -- Former Grand Prix racer Sean Emmett will spearhead MonsterMob Ducati's campaign for a third successive British Superbike Championship title in 2004.
The 33 year old from Weybridge, Surrey will replace Moto GP bound 2003 champion Shane 'Shakey' Byrne in the Paul Bird Motorsport squad having turned down a number of lucrative offers to sign for the defending champions.
"This is a fantastic opportunity for me to prove what I'm capable of after the injuries and uncertainties of the past few seasons" said Emmett who finished fifth in the 2003 title chase.
"As soon as I talked with Paul, I knew I wanted to ride for the team. There were a few things to sort out and I had offers still coming in but I had no doubts in my mind that this was the team for me. After all, just look at their success record over the past three years, why wouldn't I want to be part of that?"
Emmett had four seasons in the 500cc world championship between 1993 and 1996, scoring a best final placing of 15th in 1994, before returning to race full time in the UK domestic series commencing in 1997.
An injury affected year in 1998 saw him salvage ninth in the series before a move to Ducati machinery heralded sixth place in 1999 aboard the Reve Red Bull bikes. An abortive year on an uncompetitive Honda SP1 followed in 2000 before he was reunited with the Reve Red Bull Ducati team in 2001 where he finished in third place. It was that season that Sean is best remembered when, after being injured early in the season, he magnanimously helped team mate John Reynolds to the title, ironically pipping MonsterMob's Steve Hislop who was injured at the penultimate round.
2002 saw him take the title battle with Hislop to the final round despite having to change teams mid season from the IFC Ducati to a Virgin Mobile Yamaha R1. However, a crash saw him leave Donington with a broken wrist and only third place for his troubles and history was to repeat itself in a fashion when 2003 saw him have to change teams from Renegade Ducati to ETI Ducati also.
Team owner Paul Bird was left with a difficult decision as he contemplated Byrne's replacement but in the end, he decided Emmett was the man to front an unprecedented championship hat trick bid:
"At one point, there were around a dozen names in the hat and the team and I had some serious decision making to do. We took our time as we wanted to make sure we had the right person to give us our best chance of the hat-trick. Sean's Ducati experience was an important factor and we will continue with our proven formula of gearing the team around him" said Bird.