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Takahashi joins Honda as third Bennetts BSB rider for 2021

Tuesday, March 30 2021

Honda Racing UK has announced a third rider to its 2021 Bennetts British Superbike Championship line-up, as Takumi Takahashi joins 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, Takahashi however is no stranger to Honda machinery and brings a wealth of racing experience to Bennetts 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.

Takahashi 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, he 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 teammates under the Honda Superbike Challenge Program, which develops young talent in racing. Takahashi, although new to the British Championship will join the team as a contracted HRC rider.

Takahashi said: "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."

Honda Racing UK, team manager Havier Beltran said: "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."

Head of Motorcycles, Honda UK, Neil Fletcher added: "We're delighted to welcome Takumi to the team and the 2021 BSB championship. Takumi will be a great addition to the rider line up, joining Glenn, Ryo and Tom and brings an impressive and experienced career that I'm sure will benefit the team this season. It's great that the jigsaw over the last few months is finally coming together, and we can now look forward to pre-season testing and we all can't wait for the season to start at the end of June!"

Bennetts BSB Series Director, Stuart Higgs concluded: "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."