Honda signs Japanese protege Ryo Mizuno to 2021 BSB bid

Ryo Mizuno follows in the wheeltracks of Ryuichi Kiyonari in an attempt to go from unknown to the next British Superbike Championship star with Honda

Ryo Mizuno, Glenn Irwin, Tom Neave - Honda Racing

Ryo Mizuno will make his British Superbike Championship debut in 2021 after being snapped up as th latest Honda protege to be lured onto UK shores as he looks to emulate the success of the great Ryuichi Kiyonari a decade ago.

Representing a revised rider line-up for Honda ahead of its second season with the latest generation Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade, Glenn Irwin remains with the outfit with the incoming Mizuno replacing Andrew Irwin, who joins Synetiq BMW.

Mizuno’s arrival comes as a reward for his efforts in the domestic All-Japan Superbike Championship where he finished fourth overall in 2020. 

Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade - REVIEW

He is one of the latest riders from Japan to begin making headway on the international stage, together with Takumi Takahashi who raced in WorldSBK last year and Kohta Nozane, who will compete in the series with GRT Yamaha in 2021.

His arrival echoes that of Kiyonari, who was a relative unknown when he was ported into the BSB in 2004 before marching to a then record-breaking three titles in 2005, 2006 and 2010.

“I’m really looking forward to this new challenge, signing a deal with Honda Racing UK team to ride the new CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP in the British championship.

“Thanks to all my family, friends and personal sponsors. I can't wait to get started and hope to have a lot of success in front of our fans later this year.”

Irwin, meanwhile, will attempt to build on a superb debut year for the new Fireblade, which led to him taking a victory and six podiums en route to fourth in the overall standings having led the championship for the majority of the six-event campaign.

“I’m really happy to continue with Honda Racing and to carry on the development of the new Fireblade. 2020 was a really refreshing year that perhaps brought success earlier than I anticipated. For 2021 we have extensive development to go through which for sure will improve our package further. 

“That said, there won’t be any room for complacency which I have experienced before, so we won’t be making bold predictions from a results perspective. As a team we know from the work carried out over the winter, we have a strong base to continue developing the Fireblade. 

“Working with Ryo is exciting in itself, with Ryo coming from a completely different racing background. I am excited to see how his feedback improves us.”