World Superbikes: Leon Camier and Ryuichi Kiyonari to front all-new Honda team in 2019
Leon Camier and Ryuichi Kiyonari will be the riders as Honda Racing Corporation return to World Superbikes next season.
Although there is no name for the new team yet, it will be a full factory outfit to replace the Ten Kate team.
The Japanese manufacturer are starting a new relationship with Althea and Moriwaki, and will bring the Fireblade CBR1000RR SP2 back to the circuits.
Ryuichi Kiyonari of Bennetts Suzuki team prepares to ride during practice for the British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch on May 20, 2016 in Longfield, England.Getty Images
Camier, who will be on the same machine as last season, said: “I am really excited.
"For HRC to come back into World Superbikes is incredible, and I’m really looking forward to getting started. The level of WorldSBK is really high, a lot higher than people realise, (Jonathan) Rea has set the bar really high.
"Our plan is it improve and take it to Kawasaki at some point, we need to be competitive from the off. It’s a new team with new things coming together and a lot of things to work on. I feel the potential is there to be knocking on the podium.”
Kiyonari revealed he was shocked to be back in the paddock almost a decade since his last race. “It was a big surprise to get the call from HRC,” he said.
"It has been almost ten years since I rode in World Superbikes, but I am very happy to be joining this big, new project."
“I rode in WSB in 2008 and 2009 and it is very competitive. It’s not easy to win, it’s not easy to finish in the top six, but we have a good bike, the team will be good and I hope I can do a good job and achieve good results.”
BMW back again
HRC are not the only team to be back in action, with BMW Motorrad Motorsport also announcing that they are teaming up with Shaun Muir Racing for 2019.
Tom Sykes and Markus Reiterberger will be their riders and, despite SMR's last previous work with BMW coming two years ago, the German manufacturer will give full factory backing to the S 1000 RR machine.
Tom Sykes took his first win of the season in Assen (Simon Cooper/PA)PA Sport
Sykes, who will be with his first new team for nearly a decade after splitting with Kawasaki and Rea, said: "I am very excited to join the new BMW project in the WorldSBK Championship.
"I believe that the BMW and Shaun Muir Racing partnership is an outstanding opportunity and understand that we all share the same goals of where we want to be. "
"I am looking forward to the start of the pre-season testing where I will get my first taste of the new BMW S 1000 RR and begin my new challenge and adventure.”