Successful Snetterton for Honda Racing
The Bennetts British Superbike Championship reached its halfway point this weekend as Snetterton hosted the sixth round of the series, where the Honda team continued to build momentum as the all-important Showdown approaches. Keeping on target to remain in the top-six Xavi Forés collected further valuable points aboard the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2, while teammate Andrew Irwin scored his best result so far this season, closing his gap to the top-six.
The Norfolk track has always been a good hunting ground for the Fireblade and this weekend both Forés and Irwin continued to make progress, showing good pace throughout all sessions and today’s opening race saw both Honda’s engrossed in a battle for fifth. Swapping paint throughout the 16-lap race the teammates defended their positions to cross the line with Irwin fifth and Forés hot on his heels in sixth.
The second race saw the Honda duo line-up sixth and seventh respectively on the grid, but it was Irishman Irwin who instantly made up places as the lights went out. Leading the charge of a chasing Peter Hickman and Christian Iddon, Irwin moved into fourth place after Tarran Mackenzie crashed out on the 11th lap. Keeping the two BMWs at bay, he crossed the line to take fourth and his best finish so far this season. The results from the weekend see Irwin edge closer to the overall top-six, where he now sits eighth – just 20 points from the Showdown-six.
Meanwhile teammate Forés dropped places at the start of the race, but it wasn’t long before he started carving his way back though the pack and was soon in the fight for eighth place. Making his move on his championship rivals, Forés took the chequered flag eighth and maintains his overall position in the series in sixth place with 114 points.
On the other side of the garage, Tom Neave enjoyed a weekend full of improvements as he bettered his Qualifying and personal best time at the Norfolk circuit, with a 1:51.023 lap in the National Superstock 1000 Championship. Starting today’s race from tenth place, he dropped back into 13th during the opening stages, but dug deep over the 14 laps and made an impressive fightback aboard the Fireblade to cross the line eighth. Holding sixth place in the overall standings, he leaves Snetterton having extended the gap to seventh place.
The Honda Racing team will now head back to its Louth headquarters and prepare all-three Fireblades for the seventh round of the 2019 Bennetts British Superbike Championship, which takes place at Thruxton in Hampshire on 2/3/4 August.
Snetterton 300 Circuit Statistics
2.99 miles (4.811km)
Pole Position: Left
BSB Lap Record: Shane Byrne - 1:47.143 (2017)