Shane Byrne joins Kiyonari at HM Plant-backed team

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Shane Byrne will line up alongside British Superbike champion Ryuichi Kiyonari in the HM Plant Honda team in BSB next year. And 22-year-old Aussie Jason O’Halloran will ride for the team in National Superstock.

The new line-up is being presented at a Honda dealer conference this morning (Monday, November 22) but while it’s probably been one of the worst-kept secrets of the winter, it finally lays to rest all the rumours surrounding the future of the Louth-based team. 

Former double BSB champion Byrne said: “I spent enough time trying to beat them when I rode in BSB before. It’s really cool to be riding for them now.

“Back when I last rode in BSB it was either HM Plant Honda or GSE Racing who won the title. GSE had gone so Honda was my logical choice.

2010 BSB champion Kiyonari remains with the team in a bid to win a record-breaking fourth BSB title and he said: “I had been thinking very much for next year, which team, which bike but finally, for me, HM Plant Honda is the best team.

“They have the best staff, best sponsor, best bike. Everything for me is the best.”

For O’Halloran it’s a massive change in fortunes after two difficult seasons since coming to the UK.

His fortunes picked up towards the end of last year when he linked with East Coat Racing for string of top four finishes and he said: “It’s a great opportunity.

“Since I left Australia I’ve ridden here, there and everywhere and had no stable environment. Joining HM plant Honda means I’ve at last joined a quality team.”

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Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin