Tom Neave will make his Bennetts British Superbike championship debut this weekend at Thruxton as stand-in for the injury Dan Linfoot at Honda Racing.

The 23-year-old has spent this year battling in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 championship, notching up two podiums, having recovered from an early season injury.

Neave will replace Linfoot for the Thruxton and Cadwell Park rounds with the former BSB Showdown contender ruled out for a month after fracturing his left scaphoid at Brands Hatch last month.

“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 [Havier Beltran, Honda Racing team manager],” Neave said. “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 will compete alongside regular Honda Racing rider Jason O’Halloran who is also aiming to build momentum on his recovery from an ankle injury.

“Everything is going really well with my recovery at the moment,” O’Halloran said. “I have had a good week and a half since Brands Hatch and I have just been continuing with my programme with physiotherapy, the cryotherapy and training, the ankle is getting stronger and I am getting more movement.

“The more movement I have the more I’m able to go back to normal training on the bike and on the rower, so we’re getting there! It’s been a slow process but as the ankle gets stronger I get more movement and I’m able to do more.

“The target for this weekend is to move forward up into the top-ten and to the front. We know with me fully fit and the CBR we can be up there, we’ve proved that at the start of the year and we’ve just got to get back there now.”

 

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