Hawk Racing have signed British young guns Charlie Nesbitt and Josh Owens to contest the 2023 Bennetts British Superbike Championship, in the year that they will celebrate 25 successive seasons in the series.
After a long-standing relationship with the Bennetts British Superbike series, Steve and Stuart Hicken’s team has now turned to youth, after what was a disappointing 2022 campaign with Christian Iddon and Danny Kent.
Nesbitt is no stranger to the Mallory Park based outfit, after joining the team for 2022 as their sole rider in the Pirelli National Superstock Championship.
After a tricky opening few rounds, especially the first two where he failed to score a single point, his season ignited at Thruxton where he took two podiums, and then went on to take victory at Cadwell Park.
The 21-year-old was then promoted to the superbike class onboard the Suzuki GSX-R1000 at the penultimate, and final rounds, of last season where he collected points in five out of six races he competed in.
“I’m really happy and excited to be riding for Hawk Racing for a second year,” said Nesbitt. “It’s a great team to be part of and their experience and support really helped me make the step up to National Superstock and then Bennetts BSB last season. “The opportunity they have given me is like no other and I can’t wait to be able to repay them the best I can."
‘Spud’ will be joined in the team by 22-year-old Liverpudlian Josh Owens, who returns to the Championship for his fourth full season in the blue-ribband class, after impressing last year with the Rapid CDH Racing team.
Owens took his chance in the Superbike class back in 2019 after he replaced team owner Dean Hipwell, who was forced to stop racing due to injury.
The 2018 GP2 Champion took his chance with both hands, going from strength to strength, culminating in a string of strong performances during 2022 on a machine considered to be not one of the strongest on the grid.
“I’m super happy and excited to be joining the Hawk Racing family,” expressed Owens. “They have brought on so many talented riders over the years and given them the opportunity to do well. I can’t wait to get out for the first test and get working with everyone and seeing what we can achieve together this year."
Hawk Racing will celebrate 25 years in the Bennetts BSB paddock throughout 2023, making them the longest serving outfit on the grid. After shooting to fame back in the late 90’s, the Hicken’s have been responsible for developing some of the best British talent, such as Peter Hickman, Richard Cooper and many, many more.
They came close to taking their first British Superbike title in 2014 when Ryuichi Kiyonari put up a strong fight against Shane Byrne, taking it to final round at Brands Hatch. But following after a crash in free practice he broke his collarbone, which virtually handed the crown to Byrne.
They also collected the Pirelli National Superstock Championship with Richard Cooper in 2019, alongside countless race wins and podiums.
Speaking on his team’s new challenge in 2023, team manager Steve Hicken said: “Charlie and Josh are two of the most talented young riders on the British scene and we’re delighted they’ll be lining up together for us this year.
“They’ve known each other since a young age and risen through the junior ranks, winning two British championships each along the way, and bringing them on board continues our track record of backing younger riders who have the potential to make a big impact in Bennetts BSB. Hawk Racing is actually a few years older than they both are and I’ve no doubt our experience in the paddock will help them to unlock their potential.
“What I will say for now is that I can’t thank old and new partners enough for their support for the coming season. We’re excited to start our 25th consecutive season and hopefully spring some surprises along the way.”