Simon Andrews is to make a return to the MCE British Superbike Championship grid this season in a move that will also see the RAF Reserves Honda team make its move into the Superbike class.
Andrews has not participated in the British Superbikes category since 2011 when he opted to concentrate on his duties with the factory Honda team in the Endurance World Championship. Prior to that, however, he had been podium contender at BSB level, peaking in 2009 with a maiden podium at Cadwell Park en route to sixth in the overall standings with Kawasaki.
Most recently, Andrews had been complementing his EWC commitments with a stint in the National Superstock 1000 class following a tie-up with the RAF Reserves, but was forced to miss the final portion of the year when a serious accident at Le Mans left him with a series of injuries.
Despite this, Andrews says he is getting back to full strength and is looking forward to the prospect of returning to the series where he has enjoyed success in the past.
"I am feeling good about the season ahead and I think that my experience in the World Endurance Championship will benefit me, as we have seen that consistency pays off particularly with the Showdown format.
“The Honda Fireblade makes a good package in BSB and Alex (Lowes) showed that last season and so this is the perfect situation for me to make a comeback in the Championship and for the team to make the step up - it is an exciting time!
“I am definitely setting out for at least a couple of trophies this year; the body is feeling pretty good now and I feel like I am in the best place I have been for the past few years. I am coming back to MCE BSB with a strong head and a strong attitude and I am looking forward to it."
As well as Andrews, Conor Cummins will compete for RAF Reserves Honda in the Superstock 1000 class, whilst the team will also make appearances at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT races.
"We are all delighted to announce our plans for the forthcoming season with the RAF Reserves Honda team moving up to the Superbike class,” said team owner Lee Hardy. “We are new to this class after racing in Superstock but Simon obviously has a huge amount of experience and we believe that the Honda will be a contender for results.
“It has always been my ambition to move our team into MCE BSB and with the help of sponsor Andrew Martin of Mother Hubbards Swaffham it is now achievable, I have seen other teams make the transition successfully such as Martin Halsall and that is inspiring.
“It is the right time for us to make the move up and we are realistic that it is a very competitive championship but at the same time we aim to be consistent and keep pushing for the top ten in our debut campaign."
RAF Reserves is only the second Honda team to enter BSB 2014 this year, following Jenny Tinmouth on the TWR Honda CBR1000RR.