Donington Park delivers highs and lows for Honda Racing UK
It's been a weekend of highs and lows for the Honda Racing UK team at Donington Park, where in today's Bennetts British Superbike Championship races Glenn Irwin suffered two DNF's, but teammates Ryo Mizuno and Takumi Takahashi collected season points aboard the Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP.
Wrapping up yesterday's sprint race in fifth place, Glenn was looking forward to both 26-lap races at the National Circuit today, however disaster struck in Race 2, when while chasing down a podium position his footpeg broke, causing him to retire from the race on lap 12.
For the final race of the day, Glenn lined up seventh on the grid with the view of recouping lost points following the DNF earlier in the day. On the sixth lap however, Glenn crashed out of the running, unhurt, after Leon Haslam highsided in front of him at Starkey's. Taking quick action to avoid Leon's stricken machine, Glenn had no choice but to go across the grass, putting an end to his race.
For teammates Ryo and Takumi it was a Fireblade battle in both of today's races, as the duo hunted down point scoring finishes. Going head to head in Race 2, the pair moved through the pack from their grid positions, with Ryo starting 17th and Takumi 20th. During the closing stages of the 26-lap race, both wanted the final point-scoring position in 15th, swapping places on the final lap Takumi was up to 15th, with Ryo hot on his heels in 16th. Coming into the chicane approaching the chequered flag the pair were side by side and it was Ryo who clinched 15th place, with Takumi just 0.069 seconds behind.
Race 3 was a similar affair with Ryo and Takumi chasing down points. Starting from 21st and 22nd respectively on the grid, they soon made up places with Takumi 13th at one stage. Swapping places throughout, the pair were eventually separated by Storm Stacey when they crossed the line with Ryo 13th and Takumi scoring his first point of the season in 15th.
There's now a break in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship before Round 4 at Knockhill on 17-19 June, but for the Honda Racing UK team they head to the Isle of Man TT Races, where Glenn will be a newcomer and John McGuinness MBE marks his 100th TT race start.