BSB Race 1
BSB 2021
Round 9

Strong start for Irwin and Neave at Oulton Park

gb Oulton Park
Strong start for Irwin and Neave at Oulton Park

The Honda Racing UK team has got Round 9 of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship off to a strong start in today’s opening races at Oulton Park, with solid points scored across both the Superbike and Pirelli National Superstock races.

Tom Neave was Honda’s top point-scorer aboard the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP, finishing sixth in the Superstock race as he defends his championship lead. Qualifying back in 11th, Tom once again had some work to do during the 14-lap race, but showing great pace he fought hard and made his way through to fourth at one point. Eventually crossing the line sixth, he adds 10 points to his tally ahead of tomorrow’s second Superstock race.

Meanwhile, Showdown ‘title fighter’ Glenn Irwin finished eighth in today’s opening Superbike race collecting a handful of points towards the all-important standings. Having wrapped up Friday’s practice sessions ninth overall, Glenn proceeded straight into today’s Q2 qualifying session, where he was ninth fastest and lined up on the third row of the grid for Race 1. Enjoying some battles on track with Peter Hickman and Danny Buchan, Glenn crossed the line eighth.

Teammate Ryo Mizuno made his way into Q2 once again after finishing sixth in the initial qualifying session. Still learning the technical Oulton layout, he qualified 17th and despite getting up to 16th during the race, he came home 18th. Takumi Takahashi wrapped up qualifying 21st after failing to make the Q2 cut. At one point during the 14-lap race he was up in 18th place, but dropped back to finish 20th.

The Honda team will be back in action tomorrow for the remaining two British Superbike races, as well as Superstock Race 2.

Glenn Irwin
Glenn Irwin 2
Honda Racing UK
I was happy enough qualifying ninth and I felt like in those conditions we maybe had the pace for a second row start, which is important. We’re learning more about the Fireblade all the time and know we like to race with a bit of a clear track, so being ninth it was important to have got a good start. The race itself wasn’t horrendous, but there was a bit of drama on the first lap with Ryan’s [Vickers] crash, but once we got going, I felt good. I don’t like to be happy with eighth, but I am happy as I feel that was a really strong race on the Honda. We learnt a lot as we got to ride with the likes of Hickman [Peter] and Buchan [Danny], who both have very good track records at this circuit, so I got to see where we were strong and also where we need to improve by following them. It’s a race where we learnt a lot, we’re in the Showdown and it’s some more points we can carry into tomorrow’s races. 

Ryo Mizuno
Ryo Mizuno 88
Honda Racing UK
I wanted to set a good trend from the previous race at Silverstone, but in yesterday's free practice I had some issues and could not progress, so I was a step behind. In Race 1, I was lagging behind from yesterday and I was able to lap at my best in the beginning of the race, but in the later stages, it was very tough to maintain the pace physically and I had to slow down. Despite this, I was able to feel our progress from Round 1 here, so I will continue to work to do my best tomorrow!

Takumi Takahashi
Takumi Takahashi 13
Honda Racing UK
I couldn't keep the good feeling I had in the wet in FP3 and I wasn't able to improve my laptime in qualifying. In Race 1 I overtook two riders in front of me but then I went off the track. I will try to get a good flow and a good result tomorrow.

Tom Neave
Tom Neave 68
Honda Racing UK
I made today’s race difficult for myself qualifying in 11th, but it’s good to know that it didn’t really reflect where we were, as my ideal times would have put me further up the grid. Qualifying was a similar circumstance to Silverstone and once again we proved we can come through the pack. At one point during the race, I was up to fourth, which was amazing really. We did have a few bike set-up issues, which we’re going to work on for tomorrow, we have good understanding of where we need to be for the second race and hopefully I can convert that into a podium result.

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