After a busy year in motorcycle racing for Honda, there have been a few swap rounds and a few promotions.
Neil Tuxworth retired handing over the reigns to Jonny Twelvetrees to cover all road racing duties, and today the company has announced that Havier Beltran will take the position of Honda Racing team manager. A role which includes oversight of all UK-based track competition.
Beltran won’t step away from his role as principal of Honda’s British Superbike team. This is good news for fans as Beltran really made his mark, particularly in the second half of the season. Dan Linfoot kicked things off with his first ever Superbike victory at Silverstone. He then went on to win again at Oulton Park. These two successes were Honda’s first BSB wins on the troubled Honda Fireblade SP.
Havier joined Honda after retiring from track and motocross racing. Starting his career as a technician, he worked his way to the top. In 2013 he helped Honda achieve their fourth BSB title with Alex Lowes.
Neil Fletcher, head of motorcycles at Honda UK told us
“Havier has never faltered in his commitment to the Honda cause. In O’Halloran and Linfoot, nurturing them through three consecutive seasons, he has put in place a team strategy that is unique in the paddock, constructing an utterly solid garage environment. To mix sporting analogies, he’s constructed a team in Fergie-like fashion: Steadily building over those three years, keeping faith in his riders, taking both to Showdown slots and turning both into race winners on the Fireblade. Plus, when it comes to the new Fireblade, it is in the British championship that we’ve seen the most dramatic performances and results for the bike, with Havier and his team working from the blank canvas of a brand new bike and turning it into a winner, within just eight race rounds.
“We are utterly confident that Havier will continue to bring silverware and success for Honda at BSB level and that he can add value across the Honda UK Racing board.”
On his new role, Beltran is looking to the future with typical focus:
“It’s been a year of change, across the board, with the launch of the Fireblade – truly a leap forward in the bike’s 25th year – with Neil going and with Jonny coming in. I’m looking forward to continuing the development of the Fireblade but, in the meantime, it’s all hands to the pump for the season finale at Brands Hatch.”
It will be sad to see Neil Tuxworth retire. After 50 years in motorcycle racing, he has shone as one of the industries finest. Having a few TT podiums under his belt and more than 20 years as the Head of Honda Racing, he has seen titles in Supersport, British Superbike, and World Superbikes.
Neil Fletcher’s final word “Neil has had a glittering career both on the bike and in the paddock. We wish him all the very best for the future.”