Honda Racing UK have added a third rider to its 2021 British Superbike Championship line-up with Takumi Takahashi joining the Louth-based squad alongside Glenn Irwin and Ryo Mizuno to challenge the British series aboard the race winning CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP.
Although a rookie on British soil, Takumi however is no stranger to Honda machinery and brings a wealth of racing experience to BSB. Most recently having competed in the World Superbike Championship; the Japanese native is a multi-time champion in the All Japan Road Race Championship, where in 2008 he took the GP250 title and in 2017 was crowned JSB1000 Champion.
The 32-year-old has also enjoyed success at the prestigious Suzuka 8 Hours, having won the event in 2010, 2013 and 2014. A huge part of the Honda family, Takumi is also a test rider for Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) and in 2015 made a wild card appearance in his home MotoGP race.
At the start of 2021, Honda Racing UK announced Glenn Irwin and Ryo Mizuno as team-mates under the Honda Superbike Challenge Program, which develops young talent in racing. Takumi, although new to the British Championship will join the team as a contracted HRC rider.
The Bennetts British Superbike Championship is getting ready for the start of the 2021 season, which kicks off slightly later than planned, with Round 1 at Oulton Park due to take place on 25/26/27 June.
“I’m happy to announce that in the 2021 season, I will participate in the British Superbike Championship with Honda Racing UK. British Superbike runs on circuits I’ve never raced, so I’m looking forward to it from now on. In the past, Ryuichi Kiyonari has won the championship, so I will do my best to be able to achieve good results.”
Havier Beltran – Honda Racing UK, team manager
“The 2021 season is looking really exciting for Honda Racing UK, not only with the strong line-up we already had with Glenn, Ryo and Tom, but now to add Takumi and the experience he brings with him will really benefit the team. It’s been a busy few months organising Takumi’s move, but I know we’re all looking forward to getting out for pre-season testing and of course racing at Oulton Park for the first round. The guys in the workshop are working hard behind the scenes on the Fireblades and we have a lot of things to test which have been developed over the winter. So, it’s all systems go and we’re looking forward to the season when we can go racing.”
“The news of a third rider to the Honda Racing UK squad is good, the fact that is it a rider of the pedigree of Takumi Takahashi together with his HRC credentials is great! This is an exceptional level of focus being placed on the Bennetts British Superbike Championship by Honda. The first race event may still be just under three months away, but the anticipation of a hugely exciting season is immense.”
The 2021 Bennetts British Superbike Championship calendar was last revised on March 15 ahead of its 25th anniversary season.
The calendar was updated so that all events will now take place beyond 21 June – the date which provisionally marks the easing of spectator restrictions at large elite sporting events in the UK.
Consequently the opening round of the 2021 Bennetts British Superbike Championship will now take place on 25-27 June at Oulton Park, around a month later than previously planned.
The other events due to take place prior to 21 June, at Thruxton and Snetterton respectively, have also been rescheduled. The Hampshire circuit now hosts the fourth round on 30 July – 1 August and the Norfolk venue moves to 3-5 September. Meanwhile the first visit to Donington Park and the second visit to Oulton Park will both move back a week from the previous schedule, taking place on 13-15 August and 24-26 September respectively.
The official test programme will now begin at Silverstone (28/29 April), with the original opening test of the season at Donington Park switching to 8 June. Due to the opening two tests taking place under Step 2 of the Government roadmap, these will be held behind closed doors, with a limited number of fans expected to be welcomed back for the final two tests ahead of the 2021 season opener.
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