IoM TT Testing Injury for Honda Road Racer Nathan Harrison

Honda Racing UK rider Nathan Harrison has sustained an ankle injury during a preseason test in Spain and will require surgery

Nathan Harrison, 2024 Honda UK Andalucia Test.

The road racer Nathan Harrison sustained an ankle injury during a preseason test with the Honda Racing UK team in southern Spain.

The test took place at the Circuit Andalucia, where Harrison spent three days on a Superstock-spec Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade. A crash left Harrison with a sprain in the left ankle he has previously had reconstructive surgery on, and so it was decided, after a medical check on returning to the UK, that he should undergo further surgery to reduce the swelling in his ankle. Honda Racing UK says it does not expect Harrison’s season to be impacted by the injury.

The full statement from Honda Racing UK reads: “During private preseason testing at the Circuit de Andalucia, Honda Racing UK rider Nathan Harrison was involved in an incident whereby he crashed his motorcycle, resulting in a sprained left ankle. The ankle that, due to previous injuries, he has had reconstructive operations conducted on previously.

“A precautionary check was undertaken on his return to the UK to confirm the diagnosis. On medical inspection, it was decided that he will undergo a small operation to release the swelling and increase the speed at which he can recover. 

“It is expected that Nathan will make a full recovery and this will likely have no impact on his upcoming season.”

The test, which also included Honda’s BSB-only riders Andrew Irwin and Tommy Bridewell, was mostly focused on the team’s road riders - a focus that was
The road focus of the test was essentially necessitated by the test ban that’s in place for British Superbike Championship teams until the official test at Donington at the beginning of April. 

As a result, while Andrew Irwin and Tommy Bridewell were both present at the test at Circuit Andalucia this week, they were only able to ride Superstock-spec machinery.

Dean Harrison, Honda’s third BSB rider for 2024 as well as one of its three roads riders, focused on the roads side of things, running a road-spec 2024 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP with Metzeler tyres, mostly as a tyre test, and spent a day on the 2024 Honda CBR600RR that he will campaign in the Supersport class at both the Isle of Man TT and North West 200. Nathan Harrison spent all three days on Superstock-spec machinery.

Honda’s third roads rider, John McGuinness, was absent from the test as he was busy showing Visordown’s Toad around Portimao at the press launch of the 2024 Honda Fireblade and CBR600RR.

Jack Kennedy, who will race for Honda in the 2024 British Supersport Championship, spent time on both the CBR600RR and the Fireblade at the test, a split that he told Visordown last November had been agreed between him and the Honda Racing UK team.

After the test, Dean Harrison said: “It has definitely been a busy few days! But it has been really good to get some time out with the team on both the Superbike and the 600. I’ve felt at home straight away and feel like I've bedded into the team quickly, there are a lot of new faces and names to learn! 
“The Superbike is all new so the focus has just been on learning the bike and getting laps in. I’ve also managed to get through a pretty comprehensive Metzeler tyre test and we seem to have found a good direction there. 

“I really enjoyed jumping onto the CBR600RR, too, and I feel like out of the box we are already in the right ballpark so we can go away and continue to build from there.”

Nathan Harrison said: “It’s great to be back with the team out here in Spain spinning some laps on the new bike. I was here at Andalucia a few weeks ago with my own 2023 bike and I’m lapping quicker and more consistently here now, so I feel like we’ve made a good step forward, both with the new bike and in myself. 

“This is the first time that I have ridden with a split throttle so the focus has been on getting that into a sweet spot and learning how to utilise it best. I’ve gelled with it really quickly so I have to say a big thank you to the team for organising the test ahead of the year.”

After reacquainting himself with Supersport machinery, Jack Kennedy said: “Overall the test has been faultless, everything has gone as planned and we’ve been lucky with the weather as it has been quite windy recently. I feel like I’ve bonded with the team and my crew aIready and the transition into the team has been seamless. I’m blown away by the infrastructure, professionalism and organisation. I’ve had HRC engineers listen to my feedback which really reinforces the respect and connection that this team has. 

“I’m really happy with the bike and the feeling that I have, truthfully I wasn't sure how long I would need to get back up to speed, but I feel that we are there already. I feel entirely reassured that my decision to join this team was the right one.”

Following his limited programme in Andalucia, Tommy Bridewell said: “After getting a run out on the road bike at Portimao for the press launch it’s been great to get a go on a bit more of a race bike, yeah it’s only a Superstock, but it’s good to get an understanding of the way the inline-four engine works, the way the chassis works and the split throttle. 

“Honestly, the feeling is really positive. We’re focusing on understanding the split throttles which has been really important as that understanding forms the fundamentals of what we develop going forward.

“ The chassis, too, is encouraging, I rely heavily on front-end feeling, riding with a lot of brake pressure and trailing the brake hard into the corner, and this test has given me some real confidence in those areas. It’s all positive, I just want to get going on the Superbike at the Donington test.”

Andrew Irwin’s programme was similar to Bridewell’s. The #18 said: “It’s great to be back riding again, winter always feels so long so to be back on a bike at a race track is always nice! There is a little anxiety before jumping back on a bike again, it sounds silly but you do think ‘Can I still ride a bike?’ especially after such a long time off.  

“This test has been all about getting back into things, yes this is only a Superstock bike but I’m riding well and physically I’m in a really good place, which is absolutely the priority after last year. Which in truth, is now firmly behind us and my focus is entirely on the year ahead and looking forward. We have more tests on the horizon and I can’t wait to get onto the Superbike and crack on.”

The 2024 British Superbike Championship will begin at the Circuit de Navarra on 20-21 April.

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