Honda Racing UK has announced its rider line-up for the 2024 season, headed up by a revised British Superbike Championship pairing in Andrew Irwin and new signing Dean Harrison.
Announcing its plans at this year’s Motorcycle Live, Honda Racing also confirmed Dean Harrison will join TT legend John McGuinness and Nathan Harrison for its triple-pronged road racing endeavour, while it will also expand into the British Supersport Championship with four-time title winner Jack Kennedy.
The Louth-based outfit is bidding to come back strong in 2024 after a chastening, podium-less season hampered by the lengthy absence of Andrew Irwin, who was forced to skip six events through injury
Nevertheless, Irwin - brother of 2023 BSB runner-up Glenn - will remain with Honda for another season, with Harrison making the switch from DAO Racing for what will be a dual-campaign racing both short circuit in BSB and on the roads too.
“Continuing for another year with Honda has always been my priority and I want to put 2023 behind me and focus all of my attention and energy on 2024,” Irwin said. “I am under no illusions that I need to have a good season, I am going into 2024 to rebuild my career after a very difficult 2023, and I want to come back and be fast and always be there fighting.
“Consistency is what works and getting to maintain that for another year with Honda is crucial to building some momentum. Sometimes a break is as good as anything and I’ve had a long old break. I'm hungry, I’m motivated and I’m eager to get going again.”
Irwin and Harrison will make use of the latest update to the Honda CBR1000RR-R package, revealed at the EICMA show in Milan last week.
It is hoped the machine, which has dominated the ranks at National Superstock level in recent seasons since the latest generation model was introduced in 2019, will provide the BSB squad the boost it needs to challenge for a first title since Alex Lowes in 2013.
“I am looking forward to 2024 with the new Fireblade, I think this bike is going to give us a step forward and I can’t wait to race it,” Irwin added. “The bike is already more than capable of doing the job so to see improvements is hugely motivating.”
“I am delighted to welcome all of our riders, those returning and joining us for the 2024 season. It is certainly going to be an extremely exciting year for Honda with our expanded rider line-up and growth into a variety of racing classes.
“Retaining Andrew’s services was a priority as we never really got the chance to showcase what he is capable of this year. He is a Honda winner and he has all the potential to be a winner once more with this new Fireblade.
“Dean is also more than capable of strong results in this series and we welcome him into the team.”