HYDREX HONDA AIM FOR TRIPLE SUCCESS IN 2009
Following on from the success gained in 2008, Teesside-based Hydrex Honda will have no less than three riders gunning for glory on various fronts in both the 2009 British Superbike Championship as well as on the pure roads around the world.
After a year away from Shaun Muir’s team having raced for them in 2007, popular Yorkshireman Karl Harris returns to the fold aboard the well-proven Honda Fireblade and is keen to put a disappointing 2008 behind him.
Harris scored a podium for the team at Oulton Park in July 2007 and has yet to record his debut win in British Superbikes but the former works HM Plant Honda rider has plenty of experience which he intends putting to good use next season.
The former European Superstock and multiple British Supersport Champion will be joined by another former British Supersport Champion in the shape of Scotsman, Stuart Easton who won the recent Macau Grand Prix for the team in Doosan colours.
Easton raced for Kawasaki last year but was sidelined through injury for the middle part of the season, and following his Macau success, Muir acted quickly to sign the Hawick rider who was the target for a number of other teams.
Both Harris and Easton will be aboard the Mick Shanley-prepared Hondas in all twelve rounds of the British Superbike Championship which gets underway at Brands Hatch at Easter and Easton’s deal also sees him race the bike at Macau in order to defend his title.
The third member of the team is the enigmatic Guy Martin who has secured a deal with Team SMR for the third year running. After last year’s abortive campaign in BSB as well as the roads, the 27 year old from Kirmington will concentrate solely on the four big road race meetings, the North West 200, TT, Ulster Grand Prix and Macau.
Karl Harris: “This is a big year for me and I’m determined to make it a success. I’ve totally changed my routines, I have a new personal trainer and I am fully focussed on winning races in 2009. I had so much bad luck last year, I must have got it all out of my system and to be offered the chance to work with the Hydrex team again is fantastic.”
Stuart Easton: “Working with the team in Macau was a real pleasure and the bike was one of the best I’ve ever ridden. As soon as Shaun talked to me about this season in BSB, I knew I had to be on that bike as it really is capable of winning the championship. I’m really fired up for next season and can’t wait to start testing as we have a real chance of success.”
Guy Martin: “I had lots of options for 2009 but I’ve always said that bosses don’t come much better than Shaun and we knew we had to do things a bit differently if we were to remain together. I’m not into all this flashy PR stuff so with his and Hydrex’s blessing, I’m going to do my own thing and to try to win the big road races. I have my own team around me and that’s important so it’s looking good, driver.”
Shaun Muir: “We made huge strides last season and had some great results so now the foundations are set to continue the success. In Karl and Stuart, we have a pair of young and hungry riders who are determined to make the most of this opportunity in BSB and I have every confidence in them. Mick Shanley and Stuart’s new Chief Engineer Pete Jennings are both determined to bring success for their riders and we expect to be in contention for the championship from the first round. Guy is the best current road racer yet to win a TT and I’m sure he’ll put that right this year as he’s now got the package that he wants in order to do that. Hopefully, 2009 will be our year!”
The team plans to unveil the new team livery and the opening of the new race HQ in the new year, winter testing will follow over the next couple of months before the season starts at Brands Hatch on Easter Monday, April 13th with the first of the major road races being the North West 200 on May 16th.