It's been a weekend of learnings for the Honda Racing UK team at the opening round of the 2021 Bennetts British Superbike Championship.
It's been a weekend of learnings for the Honda Racing UK team at the opening round of the 2021 Bennetts British Superbike Championship, but despite the challenges thrown at them by Oulton Park, the Honda team are leaving the Cheshire circuit with plenty of positives.
Improvements have been made with Glenn Irwin improving his lap times over the weekend since the last outing in 2020. But Oulton Park is still a circuit that continues to taunt the Honda team, producing challenges for the set-up of the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP with its physical layout.
Glenn Irwin comes away from Round 1 with 23 points and is ninth in the series standings after collecting three top-ten finishes across the weekend. The team made a gamble in the final race with the Fireblades set-up, which paid off, although not fully showing on the times or results.
Glenn started the race from 10th on the grid but was pushed off track by another rider early on causing him to drop places to 19th. Getting his head down wanting to make up the lost places, Glenn worked hard aboard the Fireblade SP to make his way through the pack to come home 10th.
Takumi Takahashi put on a brave face taking part in both of the day's races, but with weakness in his shoulder having dislocated it during official testing Takumi pulled out from Race 2. During today's final race the BSB rookie stayed out for the duration of the 18 laps coming home in an impressive 17th place having gained experience and confidence at the track.
Ryo Mizuno continued to push on learning the circuit but unfortunately crashed out during the second race and with swelling to his hand he was forced to miss the final race. After the crash Ryo was taken to the medical centre with initial X-rays showing no fractures, however the team will seek further medical advice next week once the swelling has gone down.
The team now looks forward to the second round of the championship at Knockhill in Scotland, where a few weeks ago they enjoyed a successful test and hope to fight towards the sharp end. Round 2 will take place with a two-day race event format on Saturday 10 - Sunday 11 July.