Home round podium joy for Tom Neave and Honda
The eighth round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship saw the Honda team celebrating once more, as Tom Neave took a well deserved third place at his and the teams’ home round at Cadwell Park, in the National Superstock 1000 Championship race, aboard the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2.
With just one practice session over the weekend due to wet weather conditions stopping play on Friday, yesterday’s qualifying session proved crucial. Within the leading group throughout, Neave finished fourth fastest to take his best qualifying of the 2019 season.
In the 12-lap race Neave looked confident from the moment the lights went out and maintained his starting position of fourth in the opening laps. The local lad pushed hard to keep in the front pack and when Andy Reid crashed out of third place, Neave slotted into podium contention. Keeping a chasing Chrissy Rouse at bay, he defended his position and crossed the line third, just 0.275 seconds shy of the second place spot, to take his first podium with Honda.
Meanwhile for the teams’ British Superbike contenders Xavi Forés and Andrew Irwin, it’s been a weekend of ups and downs. Spaniard Forés made his racing debut at the 2.2-mile Lincolnshire circuit, and although making good progress from first practice through to the final race, he struggled to find a good feeling aboard the Fireblade. Forés came home 14th in Race 1 and finished Race 2 in a strong ninth position, after starting from 13th. The results from the weekend see him eighth in the overall standings, just five points behind his Honda teammate in sixth place.
Irwin was showing good race pace throughout the weekend and with positive free practice times his Showdown fight was looking strong. Just missing out on the final stage of yesterday’s qualifying, he lined up on the grid for the opening race in ninth position. Getting a good launch off the line he was straight into seventh place, but a mistake at the Mountain cost him and he dropped to ninth, which despite his best efforts is where he took the chequered flag.
The second race unfortunately ended early for the 24-year old on the third lap, after an ambitious late brake into Park saw him lose the front of the Fireblade and unfortunately took championship rival Scott Redding with him. Irwin has received a penalty for the move and he will start from the back of the grid in Race 1 at the next round at Oulton Park. Irwin’s results from the weekend see him maintain sixth place in the all-important Showdown top six.
The team will now regroup and focus on the next round of the championship, which is a triple header event ahead of the Showdown taking place at Oulton Park on 6/7/8 September.
Cadwell Park Circuit Statistics
2.2 miles (3.5km)
Pole Position: Left
BSB Lap Record: Lee Jackson - 1:26.478 (2017)