In a day of Bennetts British Superbike Championship action that felt like all four seasons occurred at once, Honda Racing UK riders Tom Neave and Andrew Irwin put challenging qualifying sessions behind them to race forward through the field and make up a combined nineteen positions.
Conditions earlier in the day were changeable for Qualifying with a brief period of heavy rain and hail delaying the sessions start. Both Tom and Andrew struggled to master the tricky conditions and qualified in twenty-third and twenty-sixth respectively. Honda mounted Charlie Nesbitt, however, sailed through Q1 and secured a front-row start on his Hawk Racing Fireblade.
When the lights went out and the BikeSocial Sprint began, conditions still remained treacherous as sections of the 2.43-mile circuit off-line remained wet, which made it challenging to pass off the racing line. Despite the difficulties though, Andrew and Tom quickly set about pushing up the field and towards the point-scoring positions.
With just two laps remaining, Tom Neave was into the points in fifteenth position, having made up eight positions up to this point. Andrew was not far behind his teammate in seventeenth. Come the final lap, Tom had moved forward another position and was hot on the heels of Max Cook in thirteenth. He lined up a move coming out of Clearways and raced him to the line, missing out on thirteenth by just 0.099 seconds. Andrew Irwin would finish just outside the points in sixteenth.
In the days Pirelli National Superstock race, Billy Mcconnell notched up his second win of the year on his C&L Fairburn/Jackson Racing Honda Fireblade.
The Honda Racing team will be back in action tomorrow in the two twenty lap feature races scheduled for 12:45 & 16:00.