THE Louth based HM Plant Honda team begin their title defence on their Honda Fireblades at Brands Hatch this Easter weekend at the opening round of the British Superbike Championship season.
Ryuichi Kiyonari returns to defend his BSB number one plate as he bids to secure a record-breaking fourth championship title, whilst Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne makes his BSB return and is looking to equal his team-mate’s three titles.
In the National Superstock 1000 Championship, young Aussie rising star, Jason O’Halloran, makes his debut with the team and is aiming to get his season off to a strong start at Brands Hatch.
Kiyo said: “Our pre-season testing has been very good. At every circuit we had lots to test, probably more than last year, but with Shakey we have worked together and we have been getting faster. We have tried very hard over the winter to improve as we want to win again! It is going to be important to be winning races at every round.
“There is a lot of pressure before Brands Hatch for everyone because nobody knows who is going to be fast. There is pressure on me because I am champion, but after the first race I think we can relax a little because there is so much that is unknown before we start racing.
“Shakey is especially fast at Brands Hatch and we are quite equal with our settings and our Fireblades so we will have to wait to see who is faster!
“I think the riders that were fighting for the championship last season will be there again and there are so many other riders who will also be fast. I want to win at Brands Hatch, for myself and the team and also the people of Japan.”l