The experienced Christian Iddon has signed for Oxford Racing Products Ducati ahead of the 2023 Bennetts British Superbike Championship, while the team also sees an expansion into the Quattro Group British Supersport series with Ben Currie onboard a Ducati Panigale V2.
Iddon takes his place back on a Ducati Panigale V4R, the same machine he piloted for the Paul Bird team during the 2020 and 2021 season, when he finished third and fourth in the title respectively.
The team based at their Moto Rapido Ducati dealership in Winchester have become firm title contenders since their debut Superbike season in 2011, scoring their best championship finish with the runner-up position in 2021 and a third place in their 2019 and 2022 campaigns, all with Tommy Bridewell at the helm. But Bridwell moving to the PBM team has made space for 37-year-old Iddon who spent an injury-plagued 2022 on (and off) the Buildbase Suzuki.
Iddon said: “Ducati is the manufacturer that I have had the most success with when I had two fantastic years on the bike previously. My 2021 season was much better than my 2020 season, but the end result didn’t reflect it, it was circumstance that did. I felt I was getting stronger all the time on it, so it feels great to be heading back to Ducati and to a new team for me with Oxford Products Racing Ducati.
“They have really stepped up with the combined effort of rider with Tommy [Bridewell] and the team in recent years. Certainly, last year they were the Ducati team who had everything required to take the fight for the championship and that is the important part for me. They are a team who are constantly developing and very technically minded which I believe will suit me. I am really looking forward to the challenge and what it may bring.”
Team Owner Steve Moore said: “I’m very pleased to welcome Christian to the team; he was the number one choice for me. His experience of Ducati and the great form he had on the V4R before is confidence inspiring. The bike has developed substantially since he last rode it, so I can’t wait to get him on our bike and begin making it work for him with the 2023 updates.
“I am sure he will thrive with the focus of being in a one rider team. I’ve already had many technical conversations with him and we seem to be on the same page - he’s as nerdy as me with the technical details so we do get along really well and that’s key to the racing family ethic in our team. He even seems to have a sense of humour too, which he’ll need!”
Meanwhile, the Ducati Panigale V2 will be built in the Moto Rapido workshop to the same specification as the World Championship machines, with support from Ducati UK, Ducati Corse, Termignoni and K-tech.
Former British Supersport championship runner-up, Ben Currie from Australia, said, “I honestly cannot wait to ride the V2, I have been racing against it all year in the World Championship and it looks super strong. With a year under its belt racing at that level, combined with the experience of the team, I’m confident that we can challenge for the title. For now, the key is to prepare for next year.”
The 2023 Bennetts British Superbike championship gets underway on 7-9 April 2023, at Silverstone.