British Supersport Champion Rory Skinner will move up to the premier Bennetts British Superbike Championship after signing with the FS-3 Racing Kawasaki squad for 2021.
The 19-year-old from Perth joins the official Kawasaki UK backed team, run by Nigel Snook and Darren Fry, on the back of becoming the youngest ever winner of the middleweight class this season. He joins new team-mate Lee Jackson on board the new-for-2021 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR, an evolution of the machine which has won the Superbike World Championship for the past six years in the hands of Jonathan Rea.
“I’m delighted to be joining FS-3 Kawasaki,” Rory said. “From the minute I met Darren and Nigel I clicked with them and feel that they are the right team for me at this stage in my career. They’re a relatively young team but they’ve already proven to be race winners and, like me, are very ambitious.
“There were several options to go to world supersport in 2021 but BSB is the toughest and most prestigious national championship in the world and racing here can only help me develop as rider. Everyone knows how good the ZX-10RR is and having seen the new bike up close I have no doubt it will be even better in 2021. Kawasaki UK are right behind the project and I can’t wait to get out and start testing properly in April.
“Before then I am planning to do some track days to get used to the extra power of the 1000cc bike, and the feeling from the Pirelli slicks. I’ve already got a ZX-10R practice bike and I’m looking to get out as soon as possible to spin some laps before the official tests.”
Ross Burridge, Head of Marketing & Racing Department at Kawasaki UK, added: “Despite the shortened season this year we have enjoyed some great results with FS-3 Racing and are excited to be working closely with them again in 2021 with a young and exciting rider line-up.
“With the addition of the stunning new Ninja ZX-10RR and extra technical support from the Kawasaki Racing Team, we are certain that both riders will be battling towards the front of the pack in 2021! We can’t wait to get started, and hopefully get to see fans trackside once again.”
Nigel Snook, FS-3 Racing Kawasaki Team Owner, added: “We’ve already received an early Christmas present in the form of the latest version of the ZX-10RR. With limited testing before the new season kicks off, we’ll be working hard over the winter in conjunction with full support from Kawasaki to ensure we get the most out of the new model from day one.
“We’re delighted that Lee Jackson is going to be with us again to build on his impressive return to the superbike class this year. Lee will be a genuine contender for race wins next year, and his consistency is bound to see him racking up the points.
“Always keen to support talented young riders, we’re delighted to welcome Rory to the team. At just 19, he was the youngest ever winner of the British supersport class this year. Building on his experience in the Red Bull Rookies MotoGP Cup, FIM Moto3 Junior World Championship and winner of the inaugural British Talent Cup, Rory is now ready to test his skills against some of the best superbike riders in the world.”
Round one of the 2021 Bennetts British Superbike World Championship is scheduled to take place on the weekend of 1-3 May at Cheshire’s Oulton Park circuit, with four official test days planned in April.