Market Rasen-based rider Jason O’Halloran has been retained by Honda Racing to contest the 2017 British Superbike Championship aboard an all-new machine.
The Australian will ride the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 for the Louth-based racing team, having taken his maiden MCE BSB win this year and qualifying for the end-of-season Showdown thanks to a top six finish.
His help developing the new Fireblade, alongside team-mate Dan Linfoot, will be crucial when the team puts the bike through its paces at the first scheduled test in the new year.
The new season marks the 10th year O’Halloran will be working with the manufacturer.
He started his career with Honda Australia before moving to England where he has been with Honda (UK) for seven years.
O’Halloran, known to fans as the O’Show, has ridden three generations of the Fireblade and has been a pivotal part in the development of the CBR in the British Championship.
“I’m really pleased to be back with Honda for 2017,” O’Halloran said. “This year was successful for us; I finished fifth in the championship and it’s the first time I’ve completed a full Superbike season.
“I’m really looking forward to next year – I know we’re going to be stronger with the experience and what we have learnt from this season.
“I will have the same crew behind me, the same team and we’ll have the new Fireblade, which is exciting.
“I have raced the last model Fireblade since 2008 which is a long stint and have worked with Honda on the development, so it’s an exciting time with the new CBR – I can’t wait to ride it now.
“This year will be my 10th with Honda, so it’s a bit of a landmark in my career and I’m happy to continue with Honda for another year.
“I have high hopes for 2017 and think I can be a strong challenger for the title.
“This year we made the Showdown, had my first race win and finished on the podium seven times, so with that in mind, next year is going to be a good one!”
The Honda Racing team is now awaiting delivery of the 2017 Fireblade with the opening round of the championship taking place at Donington Park in April.