Kevin Rousseau has been named as Ben Birchall’s new passenger team-mate ahead of the 2024 Sidecar TT, replacing his retiring brother Ben Birchall.
The Birchalls have become the dominant force of Sidecar racing at the Isle of Man TT for the past decade having accumulated 14 victories together, placing them sixth on the all-time winners list.
However, it will be all change for 2024 following the decision by Tom Birchall to hang up his helmet and retire from competitive motorcycle racing.
Despite this, Ben Birchall will continue racing and do so with Frenchman Rousseau alongside him.
An experienced Sidecar performer, Rousseau has cut his teeth in Sidecar with numerous wins and podiums at World Championship level, though he has only competed at the Isle of Man TT once.
Nevertheless, Birchall and Rousseau have already had a chance to sample the Manx Grand Prix course together already as part of a private test to evaluate tyres.
Despite his relative inexperience of the Mountain Course, Rousseau is up for the challenge of continuing the good name Birchall in Tom’s honour.
“It’s a big challenge to be next to Ben given what he and Tom have achieved but I’m really excited to start it. He has lots of experience and is obviously fast!
“The few laps we did at the tyre test were very enjoyable and the laps were both fast and flowing so I can’t wait for qualifying to get underway.
“Everyone had told me about the TT prior to my debut in 2022 and whilst I didn’t truly know what to expect, after the newcomers lap, I was like a kid unwrapping his Christmas presents! It’s so special and whilst there’s pressure it’s also relaxed, and you can never repeat the feeling anywhere else.”
“Ben’s obviously been with Tom for a long time, but this is a new chapter for both of us. It’ll take a bit of time to build our speed up but that’s the right way to do the TT. The key is to be confident, and Tom’s been giving me a lot of advice.
“I can’t wait for the TT to start and to finish on the podium this year would be amazing. I’ve done that on the World stage so to do it at the TT is my next target.”
In addition to being only three wins shy of matching Dave Molyneux's Sidecar record of 17 wins, Ben Birchall heads into this year's TT looking to better the record 120.645mph lap record he set with Tom Birchall at the 2023 TT