After a difficult and testing week for the Bike Devil MV Agusta Racing Team The eighth round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship saw stand in rider Gino Rea get the teams first points of the season with a fantastic 12th position. Whilst electrical issues halted the second race Gino impressed many with little time to adjust to the MV, but plenty of skill and effort to finish 12th.
Also we 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.
This weekend was always going to be difficult for me and it was important to find a good feeling with the Fireblade, and we just couldn’t get it right this weekend, but you know this is racing and sometimes it goes this way. I improved a lot from our practice results in both races and ninth in the second race wasn’t so bad. We leave Cadwell with some more points towards the Showdown and although we do have some work to do at the next round, we’re not a million miles away. Lets see what happens at Oulton Park, last time wasn’t so good for us, but we have made some big changes to the bike and hopefully we can have a good result.
I suppose this is the highs and lows of racing, you have good and bad weekends. Fortunately we had a good one last time out and this was the bad one. I knew this weekend wasn’t going to be all singing and dancing, but we’ll continue to fight and move on to Oulton. We’re in such a better place with the Fireblade than we were last time there and I believe we can be strong. With the penalty I will be starting the first race from the back of the grid, so I will have some work to do, but we’ll fight hard and not give up. I want to make the Showdown and I’m still in a position to do so, so I’m not throwing in the towel yet and it’s onwards and upwards to the next round.
It’s been a long while coming this podium! My last podium was at Knockhill last year and it’s a pretty sweet feeling to be able to do it with Honda at my home round. The cheer from the crowd was amazing when I stepped onto the podium, so it was nice to have the local support. Qualifying in fourth place made my life so much easier and starting the race I didn’t have so many people around me, so I was calm and not flustered. Today’s race was the most relaxed I have felt in a race all year – the Fireblade felt smooth and perfect! Hats off to Paul and my team for all their hard work and making the job right for me! I wanted the race to be the full race distance, but it was reduced to 12 laps, then we had the safety car so that took a few laps away. I feel that if we’d had some more laps I could have challenged for second place. I’d like to say thank you so much to the team, Honda, my sponsors, family and everyone for all their support, it’s a great feeling being back on the podium and I hope to be there again at the next round!
I’m so happy for Tom and the team for him to get his first podium aboard the Fireblade, in the back of our hearts and minds this would be the turning point for him and hope we can understand better how important qualifying is toward his race. We always knew with Xavi Cadwell would be difficult for his first time racing here, but I’m pleased with his progress throughout all sessions and the development we’ve had with the bike, which sadly doesn’t reflect on the timesheets. Andrew had strong pace all weekend, although we didn’t seem to capitalise on this during qualifying, but I think if he hadn’t had the mistake in Race 1, he would have finished further up the leaderboard. Race 2 he only got three laps; it was an ambitious late brake which resulted in an unfortunate incident where he has been penalised, but we’re keen to learn from our mistakes, draw a line under it and move on to continue our Showdown fight.
Despite crashes in practice and qualifying, the Integro Yamaha squad consolidated their Dickies British Supersport Championship lead with another dominant 1-2 at Cadwell Park. For Jack Kennedy it was his thirteenth win of the season, with an incredible 11 on the trot for the successful Colin Appleyard Macadam team.
Almost inevitably Jack secured his sixth pole position but it wasn’t without drama. After he had set his ultra-fast 1:28.512 lap he crashed unhurt at Charlies on a rippled section of tarmac. Not only was this good enough for pole, it was also the fastest ever Supersport lap of this highly technical circuit.
Brad Jones had an even more dramatic start to his weekend in practice as he hit another machine through no fault of his own in a high-speed accident. In fact he crossed the start finish line separately to his bike at 130mph and battered himself in the process!
With the team given plenty of work to do to repair the two machines, the YZF-R6 were again ready to take on the highly demanding, sinuous Cadwell circuit.
In the opening 12 lap Sprint race on Saturday Jack took the holeshot and after fighting off the GP2 machine of Kyle Ryde, he controlled the race for a dominant six second win. Brad also fought with Kyle Ryde but eked out an advantage, to take another 1-2 for the Yorkshire team.
In Sunday’s longer feature race, riders had one eye on tyre life but times were again fast throughout. This time Brad took off into the lead but it was just a matter of time before Jack overhauled him and started building a gap, to again win by a large margin. Brad visibly slowed suffering from his practice injury but managed to hold on to second, retaining his 100% podium record.
In the series standings Jack now holds a strong 53 point lead over his teammate with Alastair Seeley a further 15 points adrift.
Jack Kennedy said: “The team have given me a really strong bike this weekend, this place is all about compromises and our YZF-R6 worked well in both the fast and technical sections. Obviously I gave them even more work after qualifying so fair play to them. The longer race I anticipated a waiting game to keep the tyres good but actually I had to push hard almost from the off but it all panned out well. We also had strong wind and backmarkers to contend with so there was plenty going on, so I’m well happy with two wins.”
Brad Jones added: “It’s been an interesting weekend, it was a fast old crash on Friday! I really struggled in that last, longer race today as my ribs were killing me but somehow we held on. So all things considered, 40 points is a right result.”
Team owner Robin Appleyard summed up: “It’s been a cracking weekend, even if it started off with some drama! Brad was unlucky to have a big off which was none of his own fault but then battled through the pain for two really strong performances and again took more points from Seeley. Jack is on another level at the moment, circulating at record pace lap after lap.
British Superbike – Race 1 (18 laps)
Pos Rider Number Time Constructor
1 Danny Buchan 83 26:16.459 Kawasaki
2 Josh Brookes 25 +1.047 Ducati
3 Tommy Bridewell 46 +1.871 Ducati
4 Scott Redding 45 +9.237 Ducati
5 Peter Hickman 60 +10.982 BMW
6 Christian Iddon 21 +16.291 BMW
7 Jason O’Halloran 22 +17.050 Yamaha
8 Glenn Irwin 2 +17.295 BMW
9 Andrew Irwin 18 +20.350 Honda
10 Ryan Vickers 7 +23.380 Kawasaki
12 G Rea – BIKEDEVIL MV AGUSTA RACING
14 Xavi Forés 6 +35.553 Honda
British Superbike – Race 2 (18 laps)
Pos Rider Number Time Constructor
1 Josh Brookes 25 26:10.925 Ducati
2 Tommy Bridewell 46 +0.476 Ducati
3 Danny Buchan 83 +3.002 Kawasaki
4 Christian Iddon 21 +14.216 BMW
5 Peter Hickman 60 +14.520 BMW
6 Glenn Irwin 2 +22.427 BMW
7 Ryan Vickers 7 +24.916 Kawasaki
8 Luke Stapleford 81 +32.300 Suzuki
9 Xavi Forés 6 +34.591 Honda
10 Billy McConnell 3 +34.889 Suzuki
DNF Andrew Irwin 18 DNF Honda
British Superbike – Championship Standings
Pos Rider Number Constructor Points
1 Josh Brookes 25 Ducati 271
2 Scott Redding 45 Ducati 259
3 Tommy Bridewell 46 Ducati 243
4 Danny Buchan 83 Kawasaki 191
5 Tarran Mackenzie 95 Yamaha 151
6 Andrew Irwin 18 Honda 146
7 Peter Hickman 60 BMW 145
8 Xavi Forés 6 Honda 141
9 Christian Iddon 21 BMW 125
10 Jason O’Halloran 22 Yamaha 101
National Superstock 1000 – Race (12 laps)
Pos Rider Number Time Constructor
1 Richard Cooper 47 18:44.889 Suzuki
2 Taylor Mackenzie 77 +2.536 BMW
3 Tom Neave 68 +2.811 Honda
4 Chrissy Rouse 69 +3.210 Kawasaki
5 Eemeli Lathi 22 +6.974 Kawasaki
6 Lewis Rollo 8 +7.182 Aprilia
7 Tim Neave 28 +7.254 Kawasaki
8 Luke Hedger 12 +7.554 Kawasaki
9 Levi Day 26 +10.324 Aprilia
10 Graeme Irwin 7 +10.778 Kawasaki
National Superstock 1000 – Championship Standings
Pos Rider Number Constructor Points
1 Richard Cooper 47 Suzuki 294.5
2 Taylor Mackenzie 77 BMW 259
3 Lee Jackson 14 Kawasaki 162
4 Alex Olsen 75 BMW 150.5
5 Tom Neave 68 Honda 108.5
6 Lewis Rollo 8 Aprilia 104.5
7 Chrissy Rouse 69 Kawasaki 96.5
8 Eemeli Lathi 22 Kawasaki 87.5
9 Luke Hedger 12 Kawasaki 77.5
10 Levi Day 26 Aprilia 66