Ian Hutchinson to ride for Paul Bird team at major road races
Ian Hutchinson will ride for the Paul Bird Motorsport-backed Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki team at the 2015 North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix races.
The 35-year-old Yorkshireman will also compete at the Isle of Man TT and other selected races in the colours of the renowned Cumbrian-based outfit.
Hutchinson will complete the remainder of this season with the team, including the Macau Grand Prix in November.
The eight-times TT winner recently split with the Milwaukee Yamaha outfit.
The Bingley rider will contest the final two rounds of the National Superstock 1000cc championship at Silverstone and Brands Hatch in October, before travelling to Macau to try and repeat his sensational victory last year.
The deal then extends into next year, with the top British Superbike team spearheading a concerted factory-backed effort at all three major international road races with Supersport, Superstock and Superbike machinery.
In addition, Hutchinson will contest the opening three rounds of the 2015 British Superbike Championship for one of Paul Bird's teams with a view to doing further rounds throughout the season.
"I'm mega happy that Paul has offered me a deal for the remainder of this year and for 2015 also. I've ridden for the team before and we all know each other so to be joining them once again is brilliant," said Hutchinson.
"I was disappointed that this year didn't work out as I'd hoped, especially with having such high expectations but now I know I've got a real chance of success. The team is proven and hopefully I can get back to winning ways very soon."
Team principal Bird said: "For 2015, we will have a proper attack on the roads which will give him his best chance in recent years and we are really serious about winning. We'll do other selected races too as part of our expanded squad for 2015 so there are some exciting times ahead."