Honda swells to four-man 2022 BSB rider line-up, adds Tom Neave

Honda will grow to a four-rider team for the 2022 BSB Championship with Tom Neave joining Glenn Irwin, Takumi Takahashi and Ryo Mizuno

Honda BSB 2022 - Neave, Irwin, Takahashi, Mizuno
Honda BSB 2022 - Neave, Irwin, Takahashi, Mizuno

Honda has announced it will launch an ambitious four-way attack on the 2022 British Superbike Championship (BSB) title with the addition of its Superstock 1000 Champion Tom Neave to its retained trio of riders.

In what will be the third season for the new Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP, the Japanese firm has committed to a British-Japanese quartet of riders with Neave joining Glenn Irwin, Takumi Takahashi and Ryo Mizuno.

Neave’s inclusion comes as little surprise after the youngster - part of the Honda Superbike Challenge Programme - swept to the competitive Superstock 1000 title.

This won’t be his first outing in BSB having been tapped for a solid two-event outing in place of the injured Dan Linfoot back in 2018. However, Neave is hoping the benefit of experience and his nurtured success in the junior ranks puts him in good stead to hit the ground running in 2022.

“I’m not sure I can sum this up into a short one really but racing in the Superbike series is what I have worked towards since I started on tarmac, but certainly since I have been with Honda the aim was always to get into Superbike. 

“I’ve served my apprenticeship finishing as runner-up in 2020 and this year becoming the Superstock champion, and now it’s time to graduate up to the next level, where the real work starts! I have never been so motivated to make it happen and can’t wait to figure it all out and just get testing on the Superbike now, it’s finally become a reality and I couldn’t be happier.”

Glenn Irwin - Honda Racing
Glenn Irwin - Honda Racing

At the head of the team will once more be Irwin, who carried Honda to the Title Showdown in 2020 and 2021. However, after seeing hopes during the most recent season hampered by a shoulder injury sustained in a high-speed crash at Thruxton, Irwin is determined to get a clear run at the title in 2022..

“I’m delighted to sign again with Honda Racing UK for the third consecutive season, I think we’ve had two years of a good foundation and an excellent debut with the Fireblade SP, and despite lots of little challenges we have learnt a lot about the bike. 

“I expect good things and especially with the development from this season, what I want and what the team want is to step up and to fight more with the top runners on a consistent basis. 

“Tom stepping up is fantastic and a teammate I’ve been wanting, he’s young, he’s hungry, very dedicated and will certainly keep me on my toes! It does no harm to have a teammate like that. 

“I think 2022 can be a good season, I’ve been under the knife recently for my shoulder getting that fixed and I am looking forward to going into a new season clear of injury and I am looking forward to going testing.”

Though it was a tough initiation for Honda’s two Japanese proteges as they struggled to get to grips with tricky UK circuits, Takahashi and Mizuno - who will continue to lead development of the bike - are more confident a year’s experience will give them a better shot in 2022.

“I’m glad to continue racing with the Honda Racing UK team in 2022,” said Mizuno. “I’ll be aiming to keep on fighting and evolving with the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP each race to aim for better and better results. I’d like to thank my family, friends, and personal sponsors for supporting my racing activities.

“I’ll participate the British Superbike Championship in 2022,” Takahashi added. “In 2021, most of the circuits were new for me and because of my injury, I was frustrated by the results. I’ve already started preparations for 2022 season to get a good result. My first target is the podium, but I’ll do my best for the victory.”

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