HM Plant Honda can announce that its rider line-up for the next two British Superbike rounds at Brands Hatch (7-9 August) and Cadwell Park (29-31 August) will include Steve Brogan and Karl Muggridge for the Kent circuit’s two-wheel festival, with John McGuinness then paired with Karl Muggeridge for the team’s ‘home’ race in Lincolnshire on Bank Holiday weekend later in the month.
The seats of both of the HM Plant Honda British Superbike CBR1000RR Fireblades became available due to regular BSB Honda rider Glen Richards recovering from a broken leg and, team-mate Josh Brookes being handed a controversial two race ban following the last round at Mallory Park.
Standing in for the injured Glen Richards at Mallory Park, reigning British Superstock Championship Steve Brogan made a promising showing by claiming seventh and ninth places in the two races at the rain-hit event and, HM Plant Honda is confident Steve can build on this strong performance at the Brands Hatch summer event in a few weeks. It will be a busy weekend for the Scouser however, as he continues to try and defend his title in the Superstock class and also race in the British Superbike class, which features a triple-header of race action!
The HM Plant Honda team’s Australian contingent of Glen and Josh will be furthered over the next few rounds, with Aussie rider Karl Muggeridge making his BSB debut and joining the Honda squad alongside Brogie and McGuinness.
The 35-year-old from New South Wales is no stranger to UK tracks having ridden for the Castrol Honda British Supersport team in the late 1990s. He also comes with a proven championship pedigree, having won the 2004 World Supersport title for Ten Kate Honda, and since, riding for a number of Honda teams in the World Superbike series.
Following the discovery of two broken vertebrae as a result of a heavy crash at Assen earlier this year, and compounded by a more recent fall in the States whilst racing in the World Superbike Championship, Karl has spent the last few months recuperating, is now back to full fitness and is raring to get back on two-wheels.
Commenting on his forthcoming BSB outings, Karl ‘Muggas’ Muggeridge (#31) said:
“It has been a long time since I last raced in the UK, but it is refreshing for me to be back with a great team and bike. It has been a pretty hard last three years for me but I am ready for this challenge. I am back to full fitness now after the big crash I had in WSB and am looking forward to Brands Hatch. I tested the HM Plant Honda Fireblade at Cadwell Park last week and I gelled straight away with the team and it was great for me to be back working with them again. The bike feels great too, although of course we still have some work to do on set-up to suit my style. I have always liked the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit and this is a fantastic opportunity for me. I have had success in the UK before so I am hoping that I can come back strong next weekend.”
Steve Brogan (BSB #19)
“I can’t wait for Brands Hatch – there is no added pressure on me and I love the GP track. It is really good for me to have been given another opportunity on the HM Plant Honda and we have three races there so I can really get the best out of it. The extra BSB race and riding in the Superstock Championship shouldn’t be a problem as my fitness is currently the best it has ever been and I am really fired up for it. I tested the Superbike last week and we made some massive steps forward with the chassis and the set-up of the bike so I’m feeling really positive. I know I can ride a lot harder at Brands Hatch than I did at Mallory Park as that was the first time I had sat on the bike. Mallory Park was a tough one as I had the puncture in qualifying that put me right down the grid and we made some big changes in between the races. To come from 23rd at the start and get two top tens was a great result for me, especially at a circuit like Mallory where you have to ride aggressively to make a move as otherwise you get stuck behind other riders. Now though, I am setting my sights on Brands Hatch. I’m wanting a good race on the Padgetts Honda Fireblade in the Superstock class and then to get more good finishes in Superbike for the HM Plant Honda team.”
John McGuinness (BSB #12)
“I tested the HM Plant Honda Superbike at Cadwell Park last week, sharing it with Brogie. I have not had much opportunity to ride a Superbike on track as my main experience on it is from road racing. I have had a few rides in BSB before but this is a great opportunity for me. Honda has been loyal to me and it feels good to have been offered the chance. I was a bit nervous before the test, more than I was before the Isle of Man races actually, as I didn’t really know what to expect. HM Plant Honda is a well respected team, this is a good chance for me and I’d like to thank Neil (Tuxworth) for giving me the opportunity. I have no stone unturned on the roads for Honda and I have had a good season so far in Superstock with the Padgetts team. Seeing how Brogie and Richard Cooper rode at Mallory Park was quite inspirational for me, so I want to put on a good performance at Cadwell Park in a few weeks’ time and do us all proud.”
Havier Beltran, HM Plant Honda Team Manager
“Rider changes mid season are never ideal for riders or the team, but we’re in the situation we’re in and we fully intend to just try and make the most of a less than ideal situation and get on with the job. Steve did a superb job for the team at Mallory on his first real taste of a Superbike and we’re confident we can build on that performance at Brands Hatch. But beyond that, Steve needs to be able to concentrate fully on defending his Superstock title, which is why we’ve chosen to field John at Cadwell, instead of Steve again. John is familiar with the HM Plant Honda Superbike from the TT and North West 200 and this, coupled with his strong performance during our team test at Cadwell last week, secured him the BSB seat at the team’s home round. Karl is a rider who has experience of the British series and also Honda, having ridden for us in the Supersport championship a decade ago. He’s also won races at Brands, it’s his favourite circuit and he has experience of the Fireblade from his World Superbike experience. All in all, we feel we’re fielding a strong line-up for the next two rounds.”