Franco Bourne to Honda Racing in place of injured Andrew Irwin

Franco Bourne is making the step up to Honda Racing as he replaces Andrew Irwin who is recovering from injury

Franco Bourne and Havier Beltram from Honda Racing UK
Franco Bourne and Havier Beltram from Honda Racing UK

HONDA Racing UK has promoted Franco Bourne to its BSB squad, as an interim replacement for Andrew Irwin who is recovering from a crash at a private test at Knockhill in May.

Franco joins Honda Racing after a hot start in the Pirelli National Superstock Championship that saw him take second place and a win in his first two outings on the 1,000cc CBR1000RR-R Fireblade at Silverstone. Bourne further confirmed his status as a front-runner in the class at Round 2 when he took another podium at the roller-coaster that is the Oulton Park circuit.

Speaking about the move up to the top class, the 2020 Honda British Talent Cup champion said:

“I hope that Andrew is ok, I wish him all the best and a speedy recovery. I have to say when this chance came about I was obviously disappointed with what had happened to Andrew, but I was extremely happy to take the opportunity to jump onto such a good bike with a team as established as Honda Racing. 

“I’ve known 'Harv' for over ten years, since my first introduction to riding on Tarmac through the Bikewise initiative, and I want to thank him for giving me this fantastic opportunity.”

Bourne has already taken part in a shakedown test at Cadwell Park at the end of last month. That served as his first taste of the higher-spec Honda Fireblade, although he was keen to point out how well the outing had gone.

“I know there is a lot of learning to do, the bike is definitely more physical to ride too and I didn't push too much, so I’m excited to see what we can do. I come away from that small test with loads more positives than negatives.”

Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP - 30th Anniversary
Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP - 30th Anniversary

Head of Honda Racing UK, Havier Beltran, added:

“Firstly, I want to wish Andrew a continued speedy recovery and we look forward to welcoming his return to racing in due course when he is fully fit and ready to race. In his short absence, it gives me great pleasure to welcome Franco into the team. I have kept an eye on Franco for many years and I have been impressed by his natural talent since our first introduction back in 2012 through the Bikewise initiative. Watching his progression year after year has been fantastic to witness and I am excited to see what he can achieve riding our Superbike. 

“I would also like to thank Franco’s current team manager Matt Bainbridge and all of the team at Marvel HCL Motorsport for helping to facilitate this opportunity. I look forward to seeing Franco showcase his potential and continue his development.”

Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade 30th Anniversary review

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First ridden by Visordown in early 2020, the latest generation #proved #Honda #Fireblade proved to be a weapon on the ...

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