BSB Race 1
BSB 2021
Round 5

2-2 for Honda Racing UK at Donington Park

gb Donington Park National
2-2 for Honda Racing UK at Donington Park

Donington Park's National Circuit has proved once again to be a happy hunting ground for the Honda Racing UK team, as Glenn Irwin and Tom Neave both finished on the podium in today's opening Bennetts British Superbike and Pirelli National Superstock Championship races in second place respectively, aboard the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP.  

Having placed third overall in combined times in yesterday's free practice sessions, Tom was full of confidence heading into today's Superstock Qualifying at the Leicestershire circuit. Showing the potential of the Fireblade, Tom stormed ahead early in the session to the top of the times, where he remained to claim his first pole position of the year.

A dramatic change in weather conditions saw the Superstock race declared wet and reduced to 15 laps. Getting caught up off the line, Tom dropped down to eighth place on the opening lap. However finding confidence in the wet conditions and with a dry line appearing, he started to make his way back through the pack. Picking off his rivals and posting consistent lap times, by lap 11 Tom had moved into podium contention in second place and was hot on Luke Mossey's heels for the top spot. Passing Luke, Tom crossed the line to take the chequered flag, however the Honda-man was demoted to second place after he had passed Mossey who ran wide, under yellow flag conditions. Tom is now sitting sixth in the standings with 88 points, ahead of tomorrow's Race 2. 

Celebrations continued for the first Superbike race, with Glenn placing second after a solid ride across the 20 laps. Qualifying on the front row in third place, he had a superb start off the line jumping straight into the lead. Leading the way for the majority of the race he was eventually caught by Yamaha's duo Jason O'Halloran and Tarran Mackenzie, and dropped to third. Keeping calm and staying close to Taz, Glenn made his move to take second place where he crossed the line to take his second podium of the 2021 season. 

Glenn's teammates Ryo Mizuno and Takumi Takahashi are getting to grips with the 1.98-mile circuit and improving their times throughout each session. During the race the teammates enjoyed a battle with each other, with Ryo eventually pipping Takumi to the post finishing 19th with Takumi 21st. 

The team will be back in action tomorrow (Sunday 15 August) for two more Superbike races and the final Superstock race of the weekend. 

Glenn Irwin
Glenn Irwin 2
Honda Racing UK
Today was a good day coming away with a podium and in particular a second, after the safety car we had some chatter issues once the tyre temperature had dropped, but I did my best to adapt around that. It was great to battle with Mackenzie and I felt maybe with a few more laps I could have taken the fight to Jason [O’Halloran], but we’ll have to wait until tomorrow for that. I’m pleased to have got second, a huge thanks to the Honda team we’ve worked hard to get me in the right place this weekend. We know the Fireblade is strong at Donington, as we showed last year, but we’re still trying to find something ‘perfect’, but as Uncle Tim said, ‘perfect doesn’t exist’, so that helped my outlook, helped me understand and to accept things and adapt, which I think we managed in qualifying. We deserved that podium today and I’m looking forward to two more races tomorrow. 

Ryo Mizuno
Ryo Mizuno 88
Honda Racing UK
I was able to do my best in today's race. I tried to improve my pace in each session from all free practice sessions to today's race, but after the safety car I couldn't increase my pace and got separated from the group in front. I was able to keep a good pace at the end of the race, so I will use warm up tomorrow to find my pace and aim to move up further in the two races.

Takumi Takahashi
Takumi Takahashi 13
Honda Racing UK
In today's race I didn't get a good speed, like I was hoping I had at Thruxton in Race 1. I managed to make up some places, but I still don't completely understand this track. I need to improve to get good speed and rhythm just after start. I’ll try to push more tomorrow. 

Tom Neave
Tom Neave 68
Honda Racing UK
I feel like I've got confidence back after the podium at Thruxton and feel I’m finally back to where I need to be, picking up from where we left off last year. I knew we could be strong here; this is my happy hunting ground. We started from pole and the result shows we can comfortably win the race come rain or shine. I’m so gutted to have been demoted to second place, I worked so hard for the win after dropping down to eighth at the start. We start tomorrow again from pole after I set the fastest lap, I know I’m on good form and have some fire back in my belly and the fact I didn’t win today, just makes me ever more hungry for tomorrow’s race.

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