GSE Racing have confirmed that James Ellison will replace Shane Byrne in their racing line-up for 2009.
Ellison, who announced his decision to quit the Hydrex Animal Bike Honda team on Sunday, will partner Leon Camier as the Airwaves Ducati team adopts a new sponsor and a new bike for the new season.
GSE announced last month that they would be running with the all-new Yamaha YZF-R1 for the new season after announcing a partnership with the Japanese marque, replacing the current Ducati 1098.
In addition, GSE Racing’s partnership with lead sponsor Airwaves has just concluded its final season and the team are expected to announce a new title sponsor in the coming weeks.
Ellison, a former MotoGP rider and winner of the British Superbike Cup on a Yamaha in 2004, joins the team after a hugely impressive season in 2008 which saw him finish seventh in the championship.
“To be riding for the most successful team in the paddock represents a fantastic opportunity for me and I’m ecstatic,” said Ellison. “I came close to signing with the team in 2005 and kept in contact with Colin Wright ever since just in case another chance came up and now finally, here I am!
“I’m really looking forward to riding a Yamaha once again and hopefully repeating the success I had with them back in 2004.”
Haslam, who joined GSE Racing for the just-completed 2008 season, scored a total of three wins and a further five podium places on his way to 5th in the championship and believes that he can push on in 2008 and emulate current champion and former teammate Byrne.
“I’m delighted to be staying with GSE Racing for 2009, said Haslam. “Having already spent a season working so well together, we can focus on building on our results from this year and fighting for the title right from the start.
“The new partnership with Yamaha signals an exciting new era for GSE Racing and one that I am really pleased to be a part of. Now I can’t wait to begin testing the YZF-R1!”