Tommy Bridewell will return to defend his Bennetts British Superbike Championship title in 2024, making a shock switch to Honda Racing UK to run the number one plate on the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP.
Bridewell joins the factory-owned Honda team ready to mount his title defence on the new 2024 Fireblade as he bids to become the first rider to win consecutive titles on different manufacturers.
The last rider in the Championship to successfully run and defend the number one plate was Ryuichi Kiyonari with Honda Racing UK in 2007, when he won consecutive titles on the HM Plant Honda.
Bridewell completes Honda Racing UK’s three-pronged assault on the Bennetts British Superbike Championship alongside teammates Andrew Irwin and Dean Harrison.
Bridewell said: “I am so excited to join such a prestigious brand, it is every rider's dream to ride for Honda at some point and to bring with me the number 1 plate is just fantastic. The timing feels right, I have achieved my championship goals and now I am entirely focused on defending the title. I am coming here to Honda to do just that, to win another championship.
“I have always made my decisions on instinct and I always follow my gut, the opportunity here at Honda is something that I have always wanted to do and it was an easy decision to make. I’ve chosen to come to Honda as I feel this is the best team to help me defend my championship. Getting to ride a new bike is also really motivating and I am proud to run the number 1 plate for next season.”
Havier Beltran, Honda Racing UK Team Manager, commented: “Tommy is an enormously exciting rider and I am delighted to welcome him to Honda Racing UK. His achievements in the 2023 season showcased his exceptional talent and I firmly believe that his addition to our team will contribute significantly to our pursuit of success.
“I am certainly not alone in saying that I cannot wait to see what he is capable of achieving on our new Fireblade. Our target in 2024 is clear; we are going racing to win and to fight for the title.”
Neil Fletcher, Head of Motorcycles, Honda UK, concluded: “To combine forces with a rider of Tommy’s calibre highlights Honda’s intentions for the 2024 season and I am thrilled to warmly welcome him into the fold. I am immensely proud that he has signed with Honda and honoured that he has decided to run the number 1 plate on his Fireblade next year.
“His ambitions for 2024 entirely align with our own and I am excited to begin this next chapter in Honda’s racing story. I believe that alongside Andrew and Dean in Superbike and Jack on the 600, Honda now has one of its strongest rider line-ups of recent years.”
The countdown now begins to the first official action of 2024 with the opening test at Donington Park on 6-7 April ahead of the season opener at Circuito de Navarra on 20-21 April.