World Superbike rider Xavi Fores will make the switch to the Bennetts British Superbike championship in 2019, joining forces with the Honda Racing squad alongside Andrew Irwin.
A former European Superstock and IDM Superbike champion, Fores was left without a ride after being unceremoniously dumped by the Barni Racing team in favour of Michael Ruben Rinaldi. This came after a strong season for the Spaniard, who was crowned the 2018 independent champion after five podiums on the privateer Ducati.
Turning his attention to BSB, Fores spoke to several teams before agreeing a deal with Honda Racing.
“I am excited to come to England and race in British Superbikes! I have always watched the racing and it looks like a fantastic series with a great fan base,” Fores said. To have the opportunity to race in the UK and ride new circuits excites me and I’m looking forward to the challenge. Thank you to Honda for this opportunity and I can’t wait to get started!”
Team manager Havier Beltran added: “We are delighted to welcome a rider with Xavi’s experience and pedigree to the team. Xavi had an impressive season in World Superbikes finishing seventh and collecting numerous podiums in a competitive series. This now completes our full team line up for next season in both Superbikes (Xavi Fores and Andrew Irwin) and Superstock (Tom Neave) and we can’t wait to get going with both testing and the 2019 season.”
The team will begin their testing programme in Spain next month with both Fores and Irwin getting their first taste of the CBR1000RR Fireblade.