Honda (UK) is pleased to announce its 2019 racing plans having signed Andrew Irwin in the British Superbike Championship and Tom Neave in the National Superstock 1000 Championship, as well as supporting Will Lathrope in the Junior Supersport class.
Andrew joins the Honda team after a promising debut season in the Superbike class, which saw a best result of fourth place in the final round at Brands Hatch. Andrew will be looking for strong results and Showdown spots as he contests the 2019 season riding the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2.
Honda Racing also makes its return to the National Superstock 1000 Championship with Tom, riding the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2, who impressed when he rode the Superbike earlier in the year. Finishing as runner-up in 2014, the team will be looking to claim the title in 2019.
As well as challenging in the Superbike and Superstock classes, Honda (UK) is pleased to be supporting young racing talent in the Junior Supersport class with Will Lathrope aboard the Honda CBR500R. Will first rode the machine in the final round of the series this year, securing two sixth places in the process.
The second rider on the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 to contest the 2019 British Superbike Championship will be announced in the next couple of weeks.
Honda Racing would also like to thank to Dan Linfoot and Jason O’Halloran for their hard work, help and dedication in developing the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2. The riders have been with Honda for 15 years collectively – Dan four years and Jason 11 years (Honda Australia and Honda UK). Honda Racing along with Honda (UK) would like to wish them both all the very best for the future.
Honda has such a pedigree and most of the top riders in the world have ridden for them at some point in their careers. To be part of that racing history and heritage really excites me. This year was my first year in Superbike and was a huge learning curve! Towards the end of the season I found my way and felt it was all coming together, so now with Harv and the team I will be aiming for the Showdown, which I believe is a realistic target. We will have a full season and also a test programme, which I didn’t have this year and I was still competitive, so we’ll be aiming for the front and I see no reason why we can’t be up there.
I am chuffed to bits to have signed with Honda for 2019, it’s something I have always wanted and worked towards. Honda is such a big name in racing and they are one of the teams you look up to. After my accident at the last round I thought I’d blown my chance, but Harv called, we got the deal done and I am so thankful for this opportunity. I had such a good time with the team over the summer and now to have a full season with them is the consistency I need for my career. I can’t wait to get going now, it’s going to feel like an even longer off-season with my excitement, but as I’m a Lincolnshire lad I can pop to the workshop anytime and see my Fireblade SP2; the lads will be sick of me before the season starts!
Firstly I would like to thank Dan and Jason for all their hard work over the last few years, it’s been a pleasure working with them. Honda (UK), the team and myself would like to wish them both the very best in the next chapter of their careers.
Moving into 2019 we have an exciting season ahead of us with Andrew in the Superbike class, we’re back in Superstock 1000 with Tom and we have the CBR500R with Will in the Junior Supersport class.
Andrew’s talent shone this season and it was great to watch him progress, with a full year and our proceeding testing programme I think we’re going to see good things from Andrew and I’m certain that he’ll be mixing with the front group.
It’s great to have Tom with us too in Superstock 1000, we had great fun with him earlier in the year and again he impressed with his work ethic and determination. We’ve got a busy year ahead with three bikes over two classes and supporting in Junior Supersport, but with the riders and the team we have, I think we can be in for a good year and back at the top, where Honda belongs.
I am really excited for the 2019 season and for our racing team at Louth. We are busy preparing now, looking forward to a competitive year throughout all classes and excited to get going! It’s particularly exciting to be able to nurture young talent, to potentially develop them from Junior Supersport, through to Superstock and then into the premium Superbike class. I wish all of the team including our riders the very best for a great 2019 season!