Race 1
BSB 2023
Round 1

The season starts with sunshine at Silverstone

gb Silverstone National

In glorious sunshine, the Honda Racing UK team fired its 2023 season into life at round one of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Silverstone.

The season starts with sunshine at Silverstone

In glorious sunshine, the Honda Racing UK team fired its 2023 season into life at round one of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Silverstone. 

Lining up on the grid for race one of the Pirelli National Superstock series, road racing riders Nathan Harrison and John McGuinness MBE lined up 20th and 30th respectively after qualifying within 0.4 seconds of each other. As their races unfolded, both riders found themselves running midpack in amongst a large group of other road racers, all chasing valuable bike time ahead of the International Road Race season. John brought his Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP home eight places higher than he qualified to finish 22nd. After encountering problems with his quickshift, Nathan would finish the race in 24th. 

Meanwhile in the premiere class, Andrew Irwin had a challenging qualifying after an early crash in FP2 cost him valuable track time and would ultimately result in a 14th place grid slot for the BikeSocial sprint race. Ever the racer however, he moved swiftly forward during the race to finish top Honda rider in 8th position and will line up for race 2 tomorrow in 13th.

Tom Neave’s Saturday, although frustrating, had several positives as after qualifying in 22nd he was running as high as 15th and set a personal best lap time identical to his teammate.  Unfortunately, his race would end prematurely as he encountered a technical issue on lap 13.  

In other Honda news, the Honda Fireblade in Superstock trim finished in the top 6 positions of the Pirelli National Superstock race with riders, Alex Olsen, Franco Bourne and Billy Mcconnell occupying the podium positions in first, second and third. 

Andrew Irwin
Andrew Irwin 18
Honda Racing UK
The race was always going to be difficult starting from 14th after a tricky qualifying. Really that was my fault due to wrecking the bike early in FP2 which lost us valuable track time to set up the bike. But credit to the team, they did a great job transforming the bike from qualifying. In the race we moved forwards to finish 8th. After getting a good start, I had to fight through some of the riders in the group I was in and continue to go forwards. If 8th is a bad result, then I don't think that’s too bad. Hopefully we can make another step in warm up and continue to move forward in the races. 

Tom Neave
Tom Neave 68
Honda Racing UK
It’s really good to be back racing. I didn't have the best qualifying but I turned up for the race and I’m really happy with my performance. My lap times were quick, identical to my teammate and I was running in the points, seven places higher than I qualified, catching the group in front with loads of laps to go. Unfortunately, a technical problem meant I was unable to finish, but I line up tomorrow 14th, 8 positions higher than today and I’m looking to go forward in the races tomorrow. 

John McGuinness MBE

I’ve really enjoyed being here and working with the team, they’re a great bunch of lads! I enjoy riding my bike, Silverstone is not a difficult track but it’s difficult to be right at the front, but I’ll keep plugging away riding the bike and getting those laps in. The race was good, I think it was an honest result, even though you look at it on paper and think it’s not great, but it’s probably the toughest class in the series to be honest, but I kept trying. I was as fast at the end of the race as I was at the end which is great cause I’m 51 and I thought I might run out of puff! But I didn't, which is good!

Nathan Harrison

It's been good to learn with the team and go through data and look into the areas where I can improve and then see that progress in the times. Putting those improvements into place has been really good, particularly in qualifying where I went quicker than I have ever gone at Silverstone. The start of the race was good, racing on slicks and running with the midpack in those early stages. Unfortunately, the race became a bit frustrating from there as I encountered some problems with my quick shift. But it was good to be running with the other roads boys for most of the race, and to get my first race with Honda Racing UK in the bag.

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