Race 1
BSB 2023
Round 8

Home round points for Honda Racing UK

gb Cadwell Park

Honda Racing UK riders Tom Neave and Franco Bourne both deliver point-scoring rides in the team’s home round in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Cadwell Park.

Home round points for Honda Racing UK

In the early afternoon eBay Qualifying session, Tom Neave put together his quickest lap of the meeting, at that time, and sailed through into the Omologato Superpole for the first time this year. 

With the threat of rain looking likely to disrupt the single-lap qualifying format, race direction switched the Superpole format to an open pit lane 15-minute session. Unfortunately for Tom, as he rolled out of pitlane to set his first flying lap in this session, the dark clouds above could no longer hold and the rain began to fall. As such, he was unable to set a representative lap time and he qualified in fourteenth. 

Meanwhile, Franco, in his first time racing a 1000cc machine around the tight and technical circuit qualified his Fireblade in seventeenth position. 

In the 12-lap race both riders made fantastic starts to gain positions off the line, Tom in particular had a sensational opening lap and ran as high as tenth place before getting pushed off line as he was overtaken and running over the grass as a result. He would cross the line at the end of lap one in twelfth, with his teammate sixteenth. 

Tom then got his head down and set about sticking with those in front of him and regaining the lost positions as his race pace and consistency came to the fore. He would eventually cross the finish line in eleventh position. 

Franco would bring his Honda Racing Fireblade home in a season best thirteenth position, particularly impressive given his lack of Superbike laps at the circuit and in just his fourth round with the team.

In the opening Superbike race on the August Bank Holiday Monday, scheduled for 13.15, Tom and Franco will line up in thirteenth and sixteenth respectively.

Tom Neave
Tom Neave 68
Honda Racing UK
I was super happy to get through to Superpole for the first time this year, it was just a bit of a shame that we mistimed getting out in the second session to set my fast lap and got caught out by the rain. 

In the race I made a mega start and got right up to tenth place before Josh came past me with a move into the chicane and I ran off the track and lost a load of time. After then I was just caught in a bit of no man's land and struggled to get back onto the group in front. It’s not quite the result I wanted, but it’s a good solid start to the weekend, and it’s a position from which we will build heading into the longer races tomorrow. My race pace is good and so is my consistency so we will see what we can do.

Franco Bourne
Franco Bourne 54
Honda Racing UK
I had high hopes for Qualifying to be honest, because I felt that the lap time we could do was quick enough to get through to Superpole. Which I was really hoping to do because I haven’t done that yet. Unfortunately it didn't happen, but I knew that I could do better. 

Spider said that at the start of the race ‘you are going to get pushed around, so you are going to have to be aggressive and get those elbows out at the start.’ So I did that, didn’t get pushed around and managed to hold my position. I wanted to go with ‘Spud’ [Nesbitt] but didn't quite have the feeling at the time. I should have been in the 27’s a little earlier and ended up doing a few too many laps in the 28’s. Once I got my lap time down though and got into my rhythm I was able to put a good race together. To come away with a thirteenth after what I thought was going to be one of my hardest races of the season, I have to say that I am really happy with that. 

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