Tom Neave will make his Bennetts British Superbike Championship debut this weekend at Thruxton, replacing the injured Dan Linfoot in the Honda Racing team.
The 23-year-old, from Market Rasen, has impressed in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship this year, picking up two podiums since joining the series at Snetterton. Neave missed the opening three rounds of the series through injury.
He now moves up into the premier class for Honda, replacing Linfoot who is out with a broken left scaphoid. As well as Thruxton, Neave will also compete at Cadwell Park for the team.
Speaking ahead of his debut this weekend, Neave admitted that this is a dream come true. He said:
“It’s a bit of a dream come true really and I keep pinching myself to make sure it is really happening and that I did get the call from Harv! I’d had a mixed weekend at Brands, then on the Monday the phone rang and it was Havier and it was literally the best day of my life! I have dreamt of this since I started racing and to have this opportunity and experience is something else. Honda Racing is one of the teams you aspire to and look up to and I am so privileged to get this opportunity.
“I have had two days riding the Fireblade, which was great fun, although we had a lot of traffic on track so I wasn’t fully able to spread its wings and get a real feel for it. So I am looking forward to Friday in first practice to get that feeling. The team have all been so nice and welcoming and I already feel like I have been there years, the first day was a little like new school day, but instantly everyone made me feel welcome. I can’t wait to get going this weekend and thank you so much to Havier, Honda Racing and to Honda UK for this opportunity.”
Neave, who finished fifth in the National Superstock 600 Championship last year, impressed team boss Havier Beltran during a couple of tests at Cadwell Park last week.
“Of course we’ll miss Dan this weekend and we all wish him a speedy recovery and hope to have him back soon, but it’s great to welcome Tom to the team. We’ve had two tests with him at Cadwell last week and this week and he’s impressed me so far.
“We’ve struggled a little with traffic on track, so he’s not been able to really push, but I think he’s going to get on well this weekend and it’s great to be able to give a young potential future star the opportunity to ride in the Superbike class. Thanks to Mark at No Limits for the track time and to the manager of Cadwell Park, Paul Woodford for being so accommodating.”