BSB: Thruxton Team Reviews

Round seven of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Thruxton has seen
more improvement from the Bike Devil MV Agusta team with good pace in Race 1, shame about the arm pump. Race 2 the bike had a clutch problem with starting off the line and the team need to rectify this; great team work from the team and we’re all glad to walk away with a good result – onwards to Cadwell Park in 2 weeks

Honda Racing’s Andrew Irwin, who claimed his maiden BSB victory in Race 1, to then follow it up with a second place finish in Race 2. Irwin’s visit to the top step is Honda’s first win in the championship since 2017 with the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2.

With blistering pace all weekend at the super-fast Hampshire circuit the 24 year-old became the sixth different race winner and Honda the fifth manufacturer to win so far this season. Starting the first race of the day in fifth place, Irwin charged off the line and was into the leading group from the first corner. Setting the fastest time of the 20-lap race on the third lap, the Irishman held his pace and the battle for the top step commenced.
The BSB fans were treated to an action packed race as the leading group traded places for the podium spots. Irwin made his move and jumped into the lead on lap 18, where he was able to defend his position with the Fireblade, crossing the line 0.223 seconds ahead of a chasing Scott Redding, to claim his first-ever BSB podium and race win.

Irwin started the second race from pole position, but after two restarts due to rain and then track contamination the race was an eight-lap sprint, which certainly didn’t disappoint. Restarting from fifth position, Irwin again went straight to the front and the podium battle was in full swing. With places swapped at each corner, the Honda-man stood his ground with the Fireblade and went onto claim second place after a nail-biting battle.

Forés also enjoyed a strong weekend as he made his debut at the 2.3-mile circuit, improving throughout each session and showing good pace aboard the Fireblade. Forés wrapped up the Thruxton weekend with two seventh place finishes, as well as scoring the third fastest lap in the second race. The Honda duo have now swapped places inside the Showdown-six with Irwin jumping into the sixth place spot and is just five points behind Tarran Mackenzie in fifth. Forés is close behind in seventh place with 132 points.

Over on the Superstock 1000 side of the garage, Tom Neave enjoyed another building weekend as he continues to secure vital points towards his championship. Showing good pace with the Superstock Fireblade machine, Neave pushed hard to comeback during his 16-lap race where he started from 14th, to take the chequered flag seventh. Neave’s results from the weekend see him maintain sixth in the overall championship with 92.5 points.

The Honda team will now look forward to its home round, where the eighth round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship takes place at Cadwell Park on 16/17/18 August.

Xavi Forés
#6
To be honest I feel frustrated this weekend, I had good pace to be on the podium, but starting towards the back of the grid was hard to manage. The first few laps here are crazy and I had to adapt quite a bit to be strong in the first part of the race. The second race I did the third fastest lap, which means I am always improving lap-by-lap. Coming home with two seventh place finishes is good for me, especially at this kind of track where I have not ridden before and it’s not easy for me to defend my position. I feel if we can improve our qualification for the next races we will be so much more competitive. Good job from all the team, we had a great weekend and especially with Andrew’s win and podium, I feel we now have a really good package with the Fireblade

Andrew Irwin
#18
Thruxton has probably been the best weekend of my life, it’s one that you never think will happen! I’ve had so much fun riding this weekend. We did loads of homework on Friday and Saturday and the Fireblade has been so good in all sessions, the boys did an awesome job! We did long runs in pretty much all sessions and we realised we had good pace, which gave me confidence to do a good job, We controlled the tyre wear and just had good pace throughout. In the second race Josh got away and the gap was too big to catch him in the end. We have continued to make steps forward and I really can’t thank everyone in the team and at Honda enough, along with everyone who’s behind me. We’ll head to Cadwell with the win and a second place under our belts and again the aim will be to be in the top-six!

Tom Neave
#68
I have had a really enjoyable weekend and really enjoyed my racing today, it’s the most fun I have had on a bike in a long time! I love it at Thruxton, it’s such a great circuit and is fun to slide around. I enjoyed coming up from the back to catch people and start working my way forward, but I do make it hard for myself starting so far back! I am losing my races in Qualifying and then having to make up so many places early on, so by that time my race is done. If I qualify well then with the race pace I have I can run with the front guys. I beat the guys I needed to this weekend for the championship, so I just need to work on Qualifying now and make that next step.

Havier Beltran
Team Manager
It’s been an amazing weekend for Andrew to get on the podium, take his first win and also the pole position for the second race – it’s all credit to the team. I want to thank Xavi for his input and development, as well as Ian on his side of the garage for what we’ve been able to achieve so far this year. At the start of the season we felt we could fight for podiums and now we’ve celebrated them at Donington Park and Knockhill with Xavi and here today with Andrew. Andrew has moved into sixth in the championship, pushing Xavi back to seventh but I think it’s not unrealistic to think they both can be in the Showdown. Tom has also had a great weekend, it’s a shame he got caught up at the start, but he pushed through and progressed and it was great to see him coming from 14th to finish seventh. It’s a credit to him and also his team. The Superstock championship is very strong with some great riders, so we just need to keep moving forward and stay in the top-six and I am confident we can do just that.

Jack Kennedy continued his unstoppable form taking wins number ten and eleven in the series whilst young Brad Jones enjoyed strong support at his local circuit and leapfrogged over series rival Alastair Seeley to go second in the series.

The fast, ultra-abrasive circuit is renowned for punishing tyres, leaving the right side of the tyre particularly worn. With this in mind, the Colin Appleyard Macadam team worked to set up their YZF-R6 machines for maximum durability from their Pirelli treaded tyres.

Jack Kennedy secured his fifth pole position of the season at Thruxton, dipping under the lap record to fend off a timesheet challenge from Kyle Ryde on his GP2 bike and teammate Brad Jones. Series rival Alastair Seeley had a ‘shocker’, slipping off in qualifying

Warm and humid conditions greeted the competitors for the opening Dickies Supersport 600 race on Saturday afternoon for a short but sharp 12 lapper. Eager to impress in front of his local fans Brad launched off the line to get the holeshot but almost inevitably was overhauled by Jack during the first lap. Jack then seemed to be controlling the race before the Safety Car was deployed on lap seven. The BMW M4 bunched the pack back up, which worked to the benefit of Seeley as he moved through the field, the car pulled back in on lap ten. It was then battle stations as the lead swapped several times but Jack won the overall Supersport class from Brad.

Race two was held over 18 laps meaning tyre conservation was always going to be more of an issue. It was again a carbon copy start, with Brad taking the lead before he was again overtaken by Jack. There was again a safety car intervention on lap five for three laps and another epic battle ensued between Jack and Kyle that continued throughout the race, resulting in a class win for Jack with Brad in second.

Jack has extended his series lead to 43 points but now to his teammate, as Brad holds a four point advantage over Alastair Seeley.

Jack Kennedy said: “We had a plan for the races but it was hard to get away from the GP2 bike, especially as it is so strong on the brakes. Ultimately Kyle isn’t in our championship but it was a great battle nonetheless. A couple more wins is great and Brad’s done so well to overhaul Seeley in the points.”

Brad Jones added: “It’s been a really fun weekend with mega support with it being my local track. Two holeshots is great but doesn’t get you any points! It’s good to be in a 1-2 position for the team, I need to defend that and see if I can reach Jack in the remaining races.”

Team owner Robin Appleyard summed up: “Another great team performance this weekend, and the reward is coming away with one and two in the series. Brad’s had a lot of local support this weekend and went about his work as usual, which has resulted in jumping over Seeley in the points and Jack has enjoyed racing a GP2 bike all weekend which has made for good TV.”

BSB Race 1 (20 laps)

Pos Rider Number Time Constructor
1 Andrew Irwin 18 25:36.676 Honda
2 Scott Redding 45 +0.223 Ducati
3 Josh Brookes 25 +0.635 Ducati
4 Jason O’Halloran 22 +0.754 Yamaha
5 Peter Hickman 60 +1.185 BMW
6 Danny Buchan 83 +2.862 Kawasaki
7 Xavi Forés 6 +3.011 Honda
8 Tommy Bridewell 46 +3.172 Ducati
9 Luke Mossey 12 +4.495 Suzuki
10 Ryan Vickers 7 +6.717 Kawasaki

BSB Race 2 (8 laps)

Pos Rider Number Time Constructor
1 Josh Brookes 25 10:06.166 Ducati
2 Andrew Irwin 18 +4.276 Honda
3 Peter Hickman 60 +4.288 BMW
4 Jason O’Halloran 22 +4.534 Yamaha
5 Tommy Bridewell 46 +5.345 Ducati
6 Christian Iddon 21 +5.660 BMW
7 Xavi Forés 6 +5.970 Honda
8 Danny Buchan 83 +7.500 Kawasaki
9 Luke Mossey 12 +7.708 Suzuki
10 Dan Linfoot 4 +7.883 Yamaha

British Superbike Championship Standings

Pos Rider Number Constructor Points
1 Scott Redding 45 Ducati 246
2 Josh Brookes 25 Ducati 226
3 Tommy Bridewell 46 Ducati 207
4 Danny Buchan 83 Kawasaki 150
5 Tarran Mackenzie 95 Yamaha 144
6 Andrew Irwin 18 Honda 139
7 Xavi Forés 6 Honda 132
8 Peter Hickman 60 BMW 123
9 Christian Iddon 21 BMW 102
10 Jason O’Halloran 22 Yamaha 90

SSTK Race (16 laps)

Pos Rider Number Time Constructor
1 Taylor Mackenzie 77 20:37.100 BMW
2 Lee Jackson 14 +0.361 Kawasaki
3 Billy McConnell 3 +0.553 Suzuki
4 Richard Cooper 47 +1.569 Suzuki
5 Alex Olsen 75 +3.859 BMW
6 Luke Jones 82 +8.648 Ducati
7 Tom Neave 68 +9.844 Honda
8 Andrew Reid 67 +10.094 BMW
9 Chrissy Rouse 69 +11.610 Kawasaki
10 Luke Hedger 12 +16.824 Kawasaki

Superstock 1000 Championship Standings

Pos Rider Number Constructor Points
1 Richard Cooper 47 Suzuki 269.5
2 Taylor Mackenzie 77 BMW 239
3 Lee Jackson 14 Kawasaki 162
4 Alex Olsen 75 BMW 150.5
5 Lewis Rollo 8 Aprilia 94.5
6 Tom Neave 68 Honda 92.5
7 Chrissy Rouse 69 Kawasaki 83.5
8 Eemeli Lathi 22 Kawasaki 76.5
9 Luke Hedger 12 Kawasaki 69.5
10 Levi Day 26 Aprilia 59