Race 3
BSB 2023
Round 4

Tom Neave has his best-ever weekend in BSB

gb Knockhill

Tom Neave scores a brace of top-ten positions with an eighth and seventh at Knockhill Racing Circuit during round four of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship.

Tom Neave has his best-ever weekend in BSB

After the shorter Sprint race yesterday, Tom lined up for the first of two 30-lap feature races at the sun-kissed Knockhill Circuit in 17th place after setting a lap time of 48.140.

With strong late-race pace on used tyres, getting a good start and racing away with the quicker riders ahead early on was going to be vital to secure a strong result. So as the lights went out, Tom quickly got his head down to settle into a rhythm, setting his quickest lap early on with his fourth circuit (48.031). At this stage of the race, he was already into the points in 15th. 

As the race progressed, Tom picked off his competitors one by one showcasing his excellent race craft with an 8th-place finish, scoring valuable championship points in the process. A just reward for the grit and determination that Tom has displayed throughout this season.  He also displayed exceptional consistency as 28 of his racing laps were within ¾ of a second. At this stage of the weekend, Tom’s eighth-place finish equalled his best-ever finish in the premier class series to date. 

For the second feature race of the weekend, Tom would line up in thirteenth position as a result of his lap time set in the day’s earlier race. Determined to keep up the good form that he had shown earlier in the day, he raced away from the lights and gained positions early on to end lap one in eleventh. Keeping the pace hot, Tom set his fastest-ever lap of Knockhill on lap nine with a 47.875, breaking that 48-second barrier for the first time of the meeting. At this point of the race, he was engaged in a fierce fight for seventh. 

As the chequered flag was waved at the end of lap 30, Tom Neave would cross the finish line in a Superbike career-high finish of seventh, keeping two-time BSB champion Josh Brookes behind in the process.

In the Pirelli National Superstock race, the Fireblade maintained its record as the only model to have won a race this year as Dan Linfoot, Optimum Bikes Racing, doubled his win tally for the weekend. Richard Kerr, AMD Racing, also finished on the podium in second. 

The Honda Racing team now has a short break before heading to Round Five of the championship at Snetterton, 7-9 July. 

Tom Neave
Tom Neave 68
Honda Racing UK
I’d say that first race was the best ever race I have had in my Superbike career. Same old story at the start of the race, where I don’t get my finger out and get a better track position. But this time I managed to get through enough to settle in and as the laps ticked by I was able to keep picking them off one by one. I also saw that the gap behind me kept increasing which was really nice. 

It was nice to be able to manage the tyre and keep a consistent pace throughout. I feel like the Fireblade strength is being able to really look after the tyre well, I could see that the others were struggling whereas I was consistent all the way through. I could stand it up well and fire it out. I was also really strong on the brakes, catching some really quick experienced riders and outbreaking them. I take loads of confidence from this race, I am super happy coming through to eighth from seventeenth.

I thought race one was good but that was awesome. I cannot tell you how happy I am! Before I would get these random ok results and you start to think it’s a bit of a fluke. But in this race I took places from people in front of me. I started in 13th and finished in 7th. I am so happy. What I have been lacking is confidence, and now with these results, I have that self-belief that I can do it. Even earlier in the weekend, I was miserable with my qualifying. But this, I felt so in control, the bike felt so stable and I am starting to show my true potential. 

Published on