Honda Racing – Roads
Ian Hutchinson & Lee Johnston are Honda Racing’s exciting all new rider line up for 2018, and will contest the North West 200, Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix events aboard the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 in both Superbike & Superstock 1000 classes.
A winner over all three major roads circuits ‘Hutchy’ can boast some 16 Mountain Circuit TT victories, including a record ‘5 in a week’ in 2010, riding Honda machinery. The Bingley Bullet can rightly be judged as one of the best ever riders in the history of the Isle of Man TT races.
Is equally at home on track or roads, having raced British Supersport & Superbikes and placed Runner Up in the National Superstock 10000 Series in 2016. Unfortunately Ian’s 2017 season ended prematurely. Following victory in both Superbike & Superstock TT races, he was to sustain a broken femur when he crashed during the Senior.
Fully deserving of his place in the Honda team, Lee Johnston from Maguiresbridge, Co. Fermanagh is also a quality track racer – won National Superstock 600 Championship back in 2008, but over recent years has been making a big name for himself racing the roads. Three times a race winner at the NW200, the ’wee man’ also scored an impressive triple wins in a day at the 2015 UGP, (for which nominated ‘Man of the Meeting’).
Made his TT debut in 2012 & has collected two podium placings to date, but is already a Mountain Course winner…….. having been first home in the 2014 Classic 350 TT.
Just like his new team mate, Lee’s 2017 season also ended early after sustaining 3 broken vertebrae resulting from a crash at the TT.
(Note: Honda remains the most successful manufacturer to contest the Isle of Man TT Races and the Fireblade the most successful 1000cc machine ever, with 23 victories to date).
Honda Racing – World Endurance
French nationals Sebastien Gimbert & Gregory LeBlanc are the two permanent riders for the 2017/18 Honda Endurance Racing Team aboard the Fireblade CBR1000RR SP2.
Endurance specialist Gimbert, retains his place in the Honda squad for a fifth consecutive year. Vastly experienced the 40 year old former Endurance World Champion has raced in 250cc& 500cc Grand Prix, as well as World Supersport & Superbikes
He is joined by multi French Supersport & Superbike Champion Gregory Le Blanc. No stranger to Endurance racing, Le Blanc is a four time winner of the Bol d’Or & five time Le Mans 24 hour winner.
Due to the unique nature of the Series calendar, the 2018 campaign got under at the 24hr Bol d’Or event in September last year where the Honda Endurance duo, joined by former MotoGP rider Yonny Hernandez, placed third.
Remaining races for the 2017/18 Championship;
April 21 – 22 Le Mans 24hour
May 12 8hour of Slovakia
June 9 8hr Oscherseben
July 29 Suzuka 8hr