Fores moves to Honda BSB
WSB podium man will arrive in BSB with a point to prove
‘The tracks are different, there are even some jumps’
World Superbike star Xavi Forés will make the move to the Bennetts British Superbike championship in 2019 after signing a deal to join Andrew Irwin in the official Honda Racing team. Forés was left without a WSB ride despite leading numerous races and securing five podiums in 2018. Not willing to settle for substandard machinery on the world stage, the former IDM Superbike Champion turned his attention to securing a competitive seat in BSB. “This year I finished in the top six 15 times, I had five podiums, so I felt it was time to jump onto a factory bike in World Superbikes,” Forés told MCN in his first interview since announcing the switch. “I want to fight for wins, but in WSB there are only two, maybe three bikes that can win. In Argentina I was leading the race, putting in 100% and I was three seconds ahead of Jonathan Rea at one point, but in two laps he had caught and passed me. It was frustrating because the bikes are not equal.
“In BSB, every bike can win and next year there are so many riders with new bikes starting from zero, so maybe this will help us too as everybody will have something to learn during the season.” While Forés is confident ahead of the switch, he is not underestimating the challenge ahead. “Everything is completely new for me but I look forward to this. I did the same in IDM in 2014; everything was new, the bikes, the rules, the circuits and that year I was able to win the championship. For sure, it will be harder here but I am ready for it.
“I know Assen, Donington, Silverstone and Brands Hatch. The other tracks will be new for me but I have spoken with Havier [Beltran – Honda team boss] and we will test at all the tracks, even if it is on a street bike. The tracks are different, narrow, up and down and there are even some jumps. I’ve seen a lot of videos!”
In recent years, foreign WSB riders moving to BSB have struggled to make the switch, but Forés is confident that he can deliver.
“I have heard some people compare me with Davide Giugliano, but he is Davide Giugliano and I am Xavi Forés. Davide was a strong rider in superbike, but in his last years in the championship he had some issues and this was maybe one of the reasons it did not work for him in BSB. For me, I think I am riding better than I ever have so the very best Xavi Forés is coming to BSB.”
Forés says he will test at every track to learn BSB