Jacksdale racer Kyle Ryde has bounced back from the disappointment of suddenly being left without a team for the 2017 World SuperSport series by signing a contract with the Kawasaki Pucetti Racing Squad.
Ryde, 19, was left high and dry after his previous team, Schmidt Racing, opted not to compete in next year’s championship - the second time in 2016 that the teenager had found himself in the wilderness following Ranieri Med’s withdrawal earlier in the year.
But the move to Kawasaki Pucetti is something of a plum deal for Ryde, with his new team also boasting five-time world champion Kenan Sofuoglu, who won the 2016 honours in style.
Among Ryde’s mentors are current World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea, who played a big part in engineering the move to Kawasaki Pucetti.
Ryde said: “I am delighted to have this ride in 2017 and grateful to the many people who have bent over backwards to help me to have this opportunity.
“To see where I was a week ago – not riding in WorldSSP and looking for rides again in the UK – it was hard for me. When I got told about this chance it was an awesome feeling. It was all sorted a couple of days after I spoke to my team manager, Manuel.
“My new team-mate Kenan likes me and messages me all the time to see how I am doing. He had helped me enough already, even when he wasnt even my team-mate. He will be happy for me to be where I am now.
“Jonathan Rea has also been a big part of it and it is good to have a racer like him helping me.”
Ryde joins a Puccetti team which already boasts Randy Krummenacher in the World Superbike series and, along with Ryde and Sofuoglu on the Ninja ZX-6R in the World SSP division, Toprak Razgatlioglu also competes in the STK1000 European Championship. Michael Canducci will take part in the World SSP but as part of the team’s junior racing branch, FMI.
Ryde has attracted plenty of attention across the racing world since winning the British Superstock title in 2014.
When competing as a wildcard in the World SSP at Donington Park in 2015 he secured a podium finish, which helped him secure a ride with Ranieri Med in 2016 before their unexpected withdrawal.
He subsequently saw the year out with Schmidt Racing, including gaining what could be crucial experience of the Kawasaki machines, before they too opted to move away from the World SSP arena.
Ryde could well have his first action with Pucetti in January when the team heads to Spain for testing on the 24th and 25th.
The new season starts in Australia in late February before moving on to Thailand.