Glenn Irwin will make his Isle of Man TT debut in 2020 as a Honda Racing rider in a new-look international road racing line-up with hot prospect Davey Todd.
Irwin, who also joins his brother Andrew as Honda’s British Superbike riders next season, will finally tackle the Mountain Course next June after the 29-year-old made no secret of his desire to one day take on the unique challenge of the TT.
The Carrickfergus man has already made his mark with four Superbike victories in a row at the North West 200, while Irwin is also a winner at the Macau Grand Prix and a rostrum finisher in the Supersport class at the Ulster Grand Prix.
Along with fast-rising English rider Todd, the pair will ride Honda’s all-new CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP at the North West and TT next year.
Irwin told the News Letter: “I did have a few options available to me but the fact that I would be able to combine the British Superbike Championship with a structured and committed approach to making my debut next year at the Isle of Man TT is what swung it in the end.
“Honda takes both very seriously and when I’m making my debut at the TT in 2020, I want everything to be perfect and everyone involved to be totally committed. I’ve got that and more at Honda, so it ticks all the boxes for me and I’m really excited about the new season.
“The TT has been on my radar for some time and riding for Honda gives me the chance to approach my debut in the right way with a team that is massively experienced,” he added.
“When I look back to when I was a boy growing up watching the TT, it was always Honda that grabbed my attention.
“I won’t be making any bold predictions and I’m just going to keep my head down, work hard, and see what we can achieve together. There is a lot to learn at the TT and it’s very different from any other road race that I’ve done.”
Irwin said he was also looking forward to having young gun Todd as his team-mate for the roads campaign as he points to the potential of the 24-year-old.
“Davey Todd will be my team-mate and it will be fun having a younger and really enthusiastic team-mate for the North West and TT,” said Irwin.
“He’s got a lot of potential and he’s shown that already, so I think it makes for an exciting roads team and one the fans will appreciate.”
Todd, from Saltburn-by-the-Sea, said riding for Honda had been a “lifelong dream”. His deal also includes a return to the British championship in the Superstock 1000 series.
“I am really excited to sign for Honda Racing for the 2020 season,” he said.
“We all know Honda’s history and I grew up watching the factory team and that’s what got me into racing, and it’s been a lifelong dream to ride for Honda. I’m looking forward to getting back to the British Championship and I think I’ve got a lot to give there.
“I had one season in 2016 and then concentrated a little more on the roads, but I don’t want to be thought of as just a roads guy,” Todd added.
“The 2020 Fireblade looks incredible and after seeing it I am more excited that I was before - if that’s even possible! I also want to thank Havier (Beltran, Honda Racing team manager) and Honda Racing for giving me this opportunity on the roads and also in the National Superstock 1000 Championship, having that belief in me really means a lot and I can’t wait to get started.”