EBay Sprint Race
BSB 2022
Round 5

Challenging start at Brands Hatch for Honda Racing UK

gb Brands Hatch GP
Challenging start at Brands Hatch for Honda Racing UK

It's been a challenging start to the fifth round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship for Honda Racing UK, where the Brands Hatch GP circuit is somewhat of an achilles heel for the team and its riders Glenn Irwin, Ryo Mizuno, Takumi Takahashi and Tom Neave. 

In stark contrast to yesterday's conditions, today the 2.4-mile circuit has been blessed with glorious sunshine all day, with BSB fans flocking trackside to watch the action unfold. In combined practice yesterday Glenn did enough for the SUPERPICKS top 12, where today he went striaght into the Q2 session, where he qualified 11th for the opening race of the weekend, the eBay Sprint Race. 

However the 15-lap sprint was short lived for Glenn who crashed out on the opening lap at Druids, having tucked the front of his CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP. Unhurt from the crash, Glenn is looking forward to tomorrow's two longer races to make amends and look to finish the weekend in a strong position. 

Meanwhile, Tom has been making progress as he continues to get to grips with the Superbike Fireblade posting his fastest-ever lap of the GP circuit in today's race (1:26.456), where he finished just outside the points in 17th, having made up places from his 23rd start position. Ryo and Takumi also made up places from their start positions with Takumi 18th and Ryo 22nd. 

Tomorrow the Honda Racing UK team will be back in action with a further two 20-lap races, where they hope to be back fighting at the sharp end. 

Glenn Irwin
Glenn Irwin 2
Honda Racing UK
I was really disappointed to make a mistake in Race 1 and crash, especially on the first lap. We came here with new ideas this weekend, they definitely have some potential, but like anything you have good and bad. So thought I'd use Race 1 as a back to back, in mind that we have two races tomorrow to give ourselves the best possible chance, but turn two was where my race ended. Brands Hatch GP isn't a strong track for us, which is something that frustrates us all because we can't just put our finger on the issues, but saying that we have some good tracks coming up and if I can have a DNF on the not so strong tracks, it's not a positive but I'll take it and hope we can have success on the strong circuits. 

Takumi Takahashi
Takumi Takahashi 13
Honda Racing UK
FP1 and FP2 I was focussing on remembering how to ride the GP circuit at Brands Hatch. I felt a bit better in FP3, but I didn't get that feeling in qualifying. In the race I got a good start, but then I couldn't pass the other riders and didn't have a good race, so I'll try to improve on that tomorrow.

Ryo Mizuno
Ryo Mizuno 88
Honda Racing UK
Today was a tough race. I got off to a bad start and couldn't make up for it until the end. We had an issue with the front suspension and couldn't improve it. We have two more races tomorrow, so I will share information from my teammates and try to improve.

Tom Neave
Tom Neave 68
Honda Racing UK
I'm disappointed with today's result but I'm not disheartened, as I know there's more to come. The goal for the weekend is to break into the 25s and we're getting closer to achieving that lap time. We're working on settings and I am starting to feel more comfortable. I think the longer races tomorrow will help, we have good tyre life so we just need to find a little more outright pace. The team are working on a different setting ready for morning warm up, which hopefully we can tap into. I've improved my grid position for the second race by five places, so we have a slightly better chance of getting in the points. 

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