Honda have just announced their Superbike Challenge Program is hitting the U.K. But what does that mean, and why is it exciting?
Essentially, it’s a whole new project that now means Honda Racing U.K’s activities (BSB) will sit within Honda’s global racing activities. This means that there will not only be a strong bond with the head office in Japan (cough, and HRC), but the whole squad will be part of a bigger project, that aims to further their riders’ careers.
As a part of this new agreement, Honda have signed Japanese ace Ryo Mizuno, alongside Glenn Irwin. He may not have ridden any of the U.K circuits just yet, but Mizuno’s got a shed-load of experience, spending a load of time in the All-Japan series where he’s a double champ, alongside riding at the Suzuka 8 Hours. I’m sure they’re hoping that he can replicate Kiyo’s stonking BSB record.
Havier Beltran, Honda’s Racing Team Manager for the U.K side of things said: “This is a very exciting time for Honda Racing UK joining forces with Honda Motor Co., Ltd and will be great to have their support in what are uncertain times for everyone and not just in the racing world. Our participation in BSB will now sit within Honda’s global 2-wheel racing programme, which echoes past years when we had backing from HRC. It’s a great project to be involved with and we of course have a very good track record with Japanese riders, Kiyo won the title three times with us and Ryo brings a huge amount of experience and also talent with him. His lap times at the Suzuka 8 Hours last year were impressive and although the British circuits are very different, I think he will enjoy them and be competitive on the Fireblade SP.”
Oh, and they’ll also be fielding our very own Tom Neave in the Superstock class, who’s looking to go one better and take the championship in 2021.