It's been a scorching day at Thruxton for the sixth round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship, where Glenn Irwin finished the opening race of the weekend in a fantastic fourth place aboard the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP, with Ryo Mizuno in the points in 15th.
After yesterday's practice sessions, Glenn was fifth overall in the SUPERPICKS top 12, meaning he went straight into this afternoon's Q2 session, where he qualified fourth for the 15-lap eBay Sprint Race. Off the line Glenn jumped striaght into the lead aboard his Fireblade machine, but dropped back to fifth place by the fourth rotation.
The ultra-fast Hampshire circuit is renowned for being hard on tyres and during the race the track temperature reached a scorching 48°, meaning tyre management was more crucial than ever. Glenn rode a smart race holding fifth place to preserve his tyres and eventually made a move on Peter Hickman in the closing stages, crossing the line in fourth position, picking up 13 valuable championship points.
For teammate Ryo, it's also been a good start to proceedings as he went through to Q2 for the first time this season to qualify 18th for Race 1. Making improvements throughout the weekend, Ryo pushed hard during the race to come home just inside the points in 15th place.
However it was BSB rookie Tom Neave who made the most progress across the 15 laps. Qualifying back in 27th after struggling to find his rhythm at the 2.3-mile circuit, during the race he made up an astonishing 11 places to finish just behind teammate Ryo, and just outside the points in 16th place. Meanwhile Takumi Takahashi came home 23rd as he continues to adjust back to his BSB-spec Fireblade after the Suzuka 8 Hours.
The Honda Racing UK team will be back in action tomorrow (Sunday 14 August) at Thruxton for two longer 20-lap races.