Huddersfield racer Kyle Smith will be looking to make a big impact on this season’s World Supersport Championship with his new team.
The 24-year-old signed for CIA Landlords Insurance Honda for the 2016 season ahead of last year’s final round in Qatar.
And he marked his final race for Pata Honda by winning the race to finish fifth in the Championship at his first attempt.
Smith is now targeting the title in 2016 – with the series starting at Australia’s Phillip Island circuit on Sunday – and said: “I am delighted to be racing for CIA Landlords Insurance Honda in the 2016 World Supersport Championship.
“I signed with the team and then finished last season with a win, which set me up for a great winter.
“I can’t wait to get my first ride on the CIA Landlords Insurance Honda and the 2016 season starts now for me – I want to be challenging for the title.”
The new season sees new regulations.
The biggest change for 2016 in World SSP is that traction control is banned.
Bringing the machines more in line with the standard of technology found on the road, the adjustment in regulations is sure to shake up the grid.
In addition, this season also sees the Tissot-Superpole qualifying format brought into World SSP for the first time.
With the same format as the top class, the top 10 riders in practice gain entry into the shootout for the top ten grid positions, with the rest given another chance to join the contest by going through Tissot-Superpole 1.
The 2015 season saw Kawasaki’s Kenan Sofuoglu take his fourth title, but Jules Cluzel is back after his injuries suffered in a crash at Jerez last season – the Frenchman was forced to sit out the end of the season after breaking his leg and dislocating his shoulder.