Saturday’s action at the fast and flowing Thruxton circuit was not without challenges for the Honda Racing UK team, as riders Franco Bourne and Tom Neave both needed to dig deep to recover from lowly qualifying positions in the opening Bennetts Bike Social Sprint.
A challenging qualifying session ended with both riders qualifying line astern on the eighth row of the grid in twenty-third and twenty-fourth as Tom and Franco struggled to improve upon their free practice lap times.
Then in a race full of sideways action and spinning tyres, Neave made up an impressive six places from his qualifying position to finish in eighteenth position. Teammate Bourne recovered from an early race mistake to finish in nineteenth. Both riders will be looking to kick on in the morning warm-up in order to put together more competitive feature-length races.
At the front of the field, class rookie Charlie Nesbitt delivered a sensational performance to score his maiden British Superbike podium with a breathtaking second aboard the Hawk Racing Honda Fireblade, securing the team's first podium of the season in the process.
In the Pirelli National Superstock series, a damp qualifying session earlier in the day saw seven Honda Fireblades occupying positions within the top ten. The afternoon race was then an action-packed affair, culminating in a last-lap winning overtake for Billy McConnell, who headed up a Honda podium lockout. Richard Kerr and Dan Linfoot occupied second and third. The two are now separated by just ten points at the top of the championship standings.
The Honda Racing team will be back in action tomorrow morning with warm-up scheduled for 10.50 - 11.00 before the two feature-length races at 13.30 and 16.30.