HM Plant Honda have opted for an Australian duo for next season’s assault on the British Superbike Championship after announcing the signing of Glen Richards and Josh Brookes.
The duo, who both have experience of the British Supersport class, will replace Leon Haslam and Cal Crutchlow at the team after they both moved announced moves to the World Superbikes and World Supersport respectively.
Richards dominated the British Supersport category this season to take the title at the penultimate round at Silverstone, adding to his 2007 success in the same class and is relishing the opportunity to move up to Superbikes class.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity and want to give it 110%,” said Richards. “I’m well up for this challenge and I intend to give it my all!
“I’ve won two championships in a row with Superstock and now Supersport, so to make it three-in-a-row is the aim and to add a Superbike title would be awesome.
“I’ve never had a ‘factory’ ride as such in the BSB series, so I do feel I have unfinished business in the championship and something to prove.
“Modern Superbikes are smaller now, much like the 600-class machines I’ve been riding. I’ve also been used to big power before, I know the tracks and I’m used to the control tyre, so I’m looking forward to 2009!”
Fellow Aussie Josh Brookes is no stranger to Honda machinery or the HM Plant Honda team, having ridden in the World Supersport category on a Honda CBR600RR and also replacing the injured Steve Brogan at the final round of the British Supersport Championship at Brands Hatch, where he qualified on pole and finished in a fantastic third position.
“I’ve joined HM Plant Honda as I wanted to find a team which is a happy place to work and one with a good family, but also professional, atmosphere,” said Brookes. “When I did the one-off ride at Brands, it showed me how well the team worked together and although I was only with them for a few days, it felt like I’d been with them all season. That was important.
“They’ve got a straight-forward and effective way of working and I like that.
“The HM Plant Honda CBR1000RR Fireblades have shown this season they can challenge for the title, so I think I can get the bike working well regardless of having not been to most of the tracks. The tracks themselves are quite similar to some of the ones I raced on in Australia, the only difference is the weather, but I’m good in the wet so that’s no bother either!”
HM Plant Honda Team Manager, Havier Beltran, added, “We’ve seen Glen in the paddock for many years and he’s been competitive on all sorts of machinery in all the classes he’s ridden in and 2009 will provide him with the support and equipment his talents deserve, as we know he can do well.
“Josh impressed when he rode for us at the final round at Brands Hatch. He’s experienced enough thanks to his time in international racing to get results and also young enough to learn with the team and learn the UK tracks. We’re looking forward to a strong and competitive 2009!”