Relentless Suzuki boss Philip Neill reckons he has the perfect team in Ian Lowry and Atsushi Watanabe for the squad's assault on the 2009 British Superbike Championship.
Irishman Neill has given youngster Lowry the chance to step up after Michael Laverty decided not to remain with the team for next season –it is unclear, though, where Laverty is going.
“After completing three successful supersport campaigns for Relentless Suzuki, I believe Ian has a very bright future in the superbike class and will prove to be the perfect partner for Atsu, combining youth with experience," said Neill.
"I also firmly believe that Ian’s style and physical presence is better suited to riding a superbike, and although he has limited experience in the class at this stage, we have already planned an extensive training and testing programme; this will give Ian the best opportunity to succeed at the highest level of British championship racing.
"I would once again like to welcome Atsushi Watanabe to our team for 2009; I trust he is enjoying his winter break back in Japan before returning to his new base in Northern Ireland early next year."
Lowry added: "I am delighted to have been given the opportunity, not only to stay with Relentless Suzuki by TAS Racing, but also to get a crack at the British Superbike class.
"I watched BSB on TV as a kid and to be racing in it next year is unbelievable. I do believe I can deliver for the team and I’ve set myself achievable targets. To be working with a factory supported team like Relentless Suzuki is the icing on the cake and I’m sure Atsu’s experience will prove invaluable. It will take a lot of hard work and dedication but I’m up to the task and highly motivated.”