THE Halsall Racing Team is back in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship this weekend with Chrissy Rouse aboard its Suzuki.

The 23-year-old from Burnopfield near Newcastle, made his debut with the squad at Knockhill this morning, as the fifth round of the series got underway.

Rouse, who just last month completed a maths degree at Newcastle University, has made the step up from the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 series, where he currently lies fourth in the points.

Team manager Colin Wright said: “We had a space available on our superbike and Chrissy was a rider we were interested in speaking to.

“I’ve followed his progress closely for the last few years and I genuinely believe he could be another James Toseland in terms of how he rides, how he handles himself and how he behaves. He’s talented on the bike and intelligent off it, which to me is ideal.

“Chrissy has been keen to move into superbikes for a while now and I’m delighted that we have been able to make it happen. Everyone involved with the team has worked tirelessly behind the scenes over the last few days and it’s great that we are now in a position to hit the track.

“This is my first official race weekend with the team so it’s a weekend of firsts for everyone, but I’m confident we will all work well together and I’m excited to see how quickly Chrissy gets to grips with the superbike and how we can all move forward.”

Chrissy Rouse added: “This is an absolute dream come true for me. Ever since I started racing I wanted to ride in Superbikes so to get an opportunity like this is just incredible.

“Knockhill is also the nearest track to my home near Newcastle so to be able to make my BSB debut here at a track I know really well is fantastic. I’ve got loads of friends and family coming up for the weekend, many of who don’t know about this switch so I’m looking forward to doing the best I can in Sunday’s races.

“I know it’s going to be a big learning curve but I’m ready for it and willing to work as hard as I have to.”

Rouse made his team and championship debut in this morning’s first free practice session at the Scottish track.

*Image: Double Red