Donington Park Delivers drama as Tom Neave fights through from the back of the grid and into the points.
In the opening Bennetts British Superbike race of the day, the twenty-lap feature race, Honda Racing UK riders Tom Neave and Andrew Irwin lined up in fourteenth and twenty-fourth places respectively. Although the conditions were dry and rain was not falling, questions were being asked as to when the inevitable rain would come. Shod in slick tyres both riders were well aware that they would need to make rapid progress in order to score solid points should the race become red-flagged.
The opening laps were a scrappy affair as Tom jostled for position with those around him in the mid-pack and would end the opening lap down two places in sixteenth, Andrew Irwin meanwhile had made up places to sit in twenty-second. As has been the case for much of the year & with the laps ticking by, Tom soon began to use his improved race pace and consistency to move back up the finishing order and into the point-scoring positions.
By lap eight, spots of rain were falling in all sectors and the pace had slowed. Just five laps later, and having experienced several moments in the slippery and treacherous conditions Andrew Irwin would pull into pit lane and retire from the race. At this stage of his return from injury, getting laps under his belt was the priority and the risk of crashing out was too great.
When the red flag was then flown signalling the early end to the race, Tom Neave was sitting in thirteenth position and added more valuable championship points to his 2023 campaign tally.
Race three provided yet more drama, as the team rushed to fix an electrical fault with Tom Neave’s bike as he left for the grid. Missing the pit lane exit meant that he started from the back of the grid. Undeterred however, Tom would go on to put together another strong race as he battled through the field to a point scoring finish in fifteenth. Andrew Irwin, once more retired from the race.
In the day’s sole Pirelli National Superstock race, Joe Talbot doubled up for the weekend with a sublime wet weather masterclass to win once again on his JR Performance Racing Fireblade.
The Honda Racing UK team has just one final round remaining of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship which takes place at Brands Hatch on 13th - 15th October.