Shakey has plenty of experience at the 2.12-mile flat and twisty circuit though, as it is Rizla Suzuki’s nominated test track for 2006 and where much development of the GSX-R1000 has taken place.
“I have never raced a Superbike at Croft before - the circuit was added to the BSB calendar after I left the series for MotoGP,” explained Shakey. “But that doesn’t bother me one bit. Rizla Suzuki has tested at Croft throughout the season and I think I could find my way round blindfolded.
“I’m hoping Rizla Suzuki’s familiarity with Croft will help give us an edge on the competition. Winning races is what it is all about for me and that’s what I want to do at Croft.”
Joining Shakey at Croft will be Steve Plater, making his second appearance on the Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000. Steve stood in for the injured James Haydon at the last round at Oulton Park in Cheshire and is on substitute duties again while the Rizla Suzuki regular continues to heal from injuries sustained during a race crash in mid-June.
Steve said: “I’m really happy to be racing for Rizla Suzuki again. Oulton Park was a real challenge for me as I was coming back from injury, riding a new bike and getting to know a new team all at once.
“The team has really made me feel at home and I’m hoping to improve on the two 11th places I scored last time out. I’m looking forward to the racing and can’t wait to get out in practice on Friday morning.”
Superbike racing starts at 1355 on Sunday, August 13th, at Croft, near Darlington in North Yorkshire. It will be televised on ITV1 at 1530 and Sky Sports Extra at 2300.