Michael Rutter will race the Honda CBR1000RR in British Superbikes this year with BSB rookie and ex-MotoGP rider Ryuichi Kiyonari.
As predicted by MCN three months ago, Rutter will be riding the fully factory-backed Blade which has been specially developed by Honda for the British and American series.
The two riders have already had their first taste of the bike at shakedown tests in Almeria, Spain. And Rutter, who rode a Renegade Ducati 998 to third place in the British championship last year, could hardly believe how good it was compared to the Ducati.
No official times were recorded but the team clocked both riders with times faster than those set by Rizla Suzuki's Yukio Kagayama at the track last year.
Kiyonari joins the team after a year riding the Telefonica Movistar Honda in MotoGP and will be joined by ex-GP and World Superbike rider Tady Okada, who will be overseeing the CBR1000RR project for HRC.
The team also confirmed that it has renewed the contract of 2003 British Supersport champion Karl Harris to defend his title on the CBR600RR.
HM Plant will sponsor the team this year after the withdrawal of GSE Racing from World Superbikes.
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