MCNews.com.au believes an announcement is imminent from Honda Australia that they will attack the 2014 Australasian Superbike Championship and AFX-SBK Championships, in unprecedented strength.
Some contracts are still yet to be finalised but it seems a fait accompli that Team Honda will contest the FX series with 2013 incumbents Jamie Stauffer and Josh Hook, with Wayne Maxwell in some sort of satellite rider arrangement while Troy Herfoss will also receive some direct support.
It seems that now the decision has been made to defect from the troubled ASBK series, Honda are going to come out all guns blazing to conquer FX with an unrivalled combination of talent and experience.
Jamie Stauffer is a multiple champion while Josh Hook is widely recognised as a rising talent yet to realise his full potential.
After being left out in the cold after Team Suzuki pulled out of season 2014, reigning ASBK Champion Wayne Maxwell returns to Honda.
After a season in the road race wilderness Troy Herfoss is eager to prove his mettle once again on the tarmac after recently finishing second at the star-studded Troy Bayliss Classic dirt track meeting.
With the addition of such a strong Honda effort to the Terry O’Neill promoted series the 2014 season in FX looks, despite the recent tumultuous and politically torn years in Australian Road Racing, perhaps this year is where we see a new way forward with the best riders in Australia once again all meeting on an equal footing.
We’re excited, are you?
NB: A couple of hours after this post Honda released the following statement.
Team Honda Racing are thrilled to announce they will make their assault on the 2014 Australian road-racing stage with a strong three rider line-up. Multi-championship winner #27 Jamie Stauffer will once again be joined by up and coming rider #34 Josh Hook as well as reigning Australian Superbike Champion #47 Wayne Maxwell.
Racing on board Honda’s new CBR1000RR SP, the Team Honda Racing riders will make their 2014 debut at the upcoming Phillip Island Championship and will also compete in the 2014 Swann Insurance Australasian Superbike Championship. The team’s participation in the Australian Superbike Championship is yet to be confirmed.
With the focus on the Superbike category in 2014, Team Honda Racing is busy with race preparations and testing of the Motologic-built CBR1000RR SP. While #27 Jamie Stauffer and #34 Josh Hook will campaign under the Team Honda Racing banner, returning rider #47 Wayne Maxwell will race on board Team Honda Racing’s Motul Honda CBR1000RR SP.
With a long history with Honda, Motologic owner and Team Honda Racing team principal, Paul Free is pleased to be bringing such a strong rider line-up to the 2014 field; “I couldn’t be happier with what we have put together as a team package, our rider line up is going to be as strong as you could ever ask for and the new CBR1000RR SP will be an awesome motorcycle to work with.”
Looking forward to getting underway, Free said; “We have a two day test on this week at Phillip Island on Pirelli tyres before we compete at the WSBK event in just over a week which I am really looking forward to. The Swann Series will be something new and challenging for us as a team as we have not competed at these events before. I am sure we will all get our heads around the program and format quickly and have a very successful season.”
Thrilled to be returning to the Honda family, Maxwell is looking forward to podium results in 2014. “It’s great to be coming home to Honda, I have a long history with the manufacturer and I have experienced a lot of success with them in the past” explained Maxwell.
On the back of his Championship win last year, Maxwell knows he is in good racing form; “I am expecting a lot from the upcoming WSBK weekend, I am keen to get out on the track and am hoping to reward Honda with a win”.
With a long list of Australian championship wins under his belt, Jamie Stauffer is looking to retain his position at the front of the field in 2014. “I am really excited about the 2014 racing season. The Phillip Island Championship is a terrific opportunity for the team with both events being such high profile, international events and to be racing in the Swann Insurance Australasian Superbike Championship will be a new and fresh challenge which I can’t wait to begin”
“Josh Hook has gone from strength to strength since his Superbike debut in 2013 challenging the front runners right from his first race. Looking forward to battling on board the CBR1000RR SP, Hook said; “The CBR1000RR SP is going to be an unreal machine, both my mechanic and I are really looking forward to getting out on the track to see what it’s capable of. We’re heading down to Phillip Island now for testing so after that we’ll know where we are at. I can’t wait to get the season started”.
Welcoming Motul as a new sponsor into the Honda Racing family, the specialist in high-performance engine oils and lubricants will join Team Honda Racing for 2014 focusing predominantly on Wayne Maxwell’s Motul Honda CBR1000RR SP.
Speaking about the new Motul partnership Brenden Stoeckert, General Manager of Link International said; “Motul is thrilled by the new relationship with Team Honda Racing and is looking forward to the opportunities this technical and racing partnership offers. Naturally it is great to have Wayne Maxwell back on board with Motul again this year and we look forward to an exciting year of racing.”
Anticipation is high for the first season outing of 2014 at the Phillip Island Championship on February 21-23. The Honda riders will have an opportunity to put the Motologic-built CBR1000RR SP through its paces and show the public what they’re capable of on the international stage.