James Hoogenbouzem, another product of the decade old Canterbury Junior racing scene, is stepping up to the Superbike class for 2016.
The 25-year-old duelled with younger brother Alastair for much of this year's 600 Supersport Championship only to end up third in the title chase when Auckland's Toby Summers turned in a blinding performance at the final round at Taupo.
Now he is stepping away from the GSX-R600 Suzuki he has been racing in favour of a BMW S1000 RR.
Hoogenbouzem will be racing for the Tauranga-based M1 Motorsport team on the Valvoline-backed BMW, and will also be on Bridgestone rubber.
“I'm very excited about this great opportunity," Hoogenbouzem says.
"I can't wait to go and do some testing and get up to speed with the M1 Motorsport BMW. I'm really looking forward to being a part of the team and stepping up to the challenge of riding a Superbike this year. Thanks to the M1 Motorsport team and Sponsors for giving me this fantastic opportunity.”
After racing with Pirelli tyres in the past, the M1 Motorsport team is switching to Bridgestone in association with Bridgestone Tyres New Zealand. The team use Bridgestone Battlax V02 tyres.
The V02's are built on the latest MotoGP technology and were widely used in the prestigious Coca-Cola Suzuka 8-Hour and hold the lap record which was set this year.
“I’m quite excited to look to the future, with the development of James and a change of tyre suppliers,” M1 Motorsport manager Robert Ramshaw says.
“ I love a challenge. If we can accomplish our goals and see James pick up a podium or two, I’ll be a happy man and I have every confidence with our race package, our support and a strong team that our goals are achievable for this season.”