Honda Racing UK and Tom Neave score more championship points at round 5 of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Snetterton, as Franco Bourne makes an impressive debut on the Fireblade Superbike.
After the final Free Practice session of the weekend on Saturday morning, the Honda team geared up for qualifying in hot and humid conditions. Both riders would aim to progress through the initial session in their pursuit of a strong qualifying slot on the grid.
Tom Neave would dig deep to go purple in the final sector of his quickest lap and set the sixth quickest lap of the session to advance through to Qualifying 2. He then went on to smash his personal best lap of the Norfolk Circuit to lap in 1:48.450, placing him 15th on the grid for the Bennetts BikeSocial Sprint race.
Meanwhile, Franco, in his first weekend racing the Fireblade Superbike, set his best lap of the event so far with a 1:49.750, almost a full three seconds quicker than his FP1 time, to qualify in 25th position in the ultra competitive series.
As the lights went out and the race roared into life, Franco fired up the order and got his elbows out to gain several positions in the first lap. Knowing that each lap would be an opportunity to learn from those around him, getting away with quicker riders in front was always the aim.
Tom Neave meanwhile, also made a strong start to hold position throughout the early laps, setting his fastest lap of the race, a 1:48.750, on his third circuit. As the race progressed, Tom began to pick off those in front of him and would finish the race in twelfth. His quickest race lap time places him 13th on the grid for the first feature length race tomorrow.
Franco would finish his first BSB race in an impressive 19th place as he continued his adaptation to the Superbike. He set a quickest race lap of 1:49.394 to qualify 18th for tomorrow’s opening race. This grid position gives him a great opportunity to potentially reach those championship points scoring finishing positions come the chequered flag tomorrow.
In the Pirelli National Superstock series, the Honda Fireblade continues its strong early season form as eight ‘Blades’ occupied positions within the top ten. Dan Linfoot fired his Optimum Bikes Racing Fireblade to pole position in a blisteringly quick 1:48.948.
The Honda Racing team returns to the track tomorrow morning with morning warm up at 9.30 before the two feature length races at 13.15 & 16.30.