Eazi Grip

Andrew Irwin returns to BSB this weekend at Donington for Honda Racing UK

This weekend, after a long enforced absence through injury, Andrew Irwin will make his highly anticipated return to racing action for the Honda Racing UK team at the 2.49-mile Donington Park GP circuit for the penultimate round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship.

A complex injury sustained during a crash in testing at Knockhill earlier in the year sidelined Andrew for six rounds and saw Superstock race winner Franco Bourne step up into the factory team for the interim. During this period, Franco delivered frequent point-scoring rides in this highly competitive series and he put together his best weekend at the physically demanding Cadwell Park, the team’s home round, with a brace of twelfth-place finishes and a thirteenth. His contributions to the team have proved invaluable and Honda would like to thank Franco for the commitment and dedication he has displayed during his time racing for the team. Honda is proud to give future stars the opportunity to display their potential.

Irwin’s return to action at the Leicestershire circuit follows two recent test outings at Oulton Park and Cadwell, aimed at ascertaining his bike fitness and reacquainting him with the Honda Fireblade. He is under no illusion as to the challenge of his racing return and conservatively targets consistent progress throughout the weekend and remainder of the season.

On the other side of the garage, Tom Neave will be hoping to put a difficult Oulton Park round behind him as he returns to the venue of one of his season’s best results. He once more targets a return to the top ten as he looks to finish the final two rounds of the season on a high.

Round ten of Bennetts British Superbikes fires into life with Free Practice sessions on Friday 29th September at 12:45 & 16.00. The BikeSocial Sprint then takes place on Saturday at 16:30. Sunday’s two races are scheduled for 13:15 & 16:30.

Havier Beltran – Honda Racing UK Team Manager

“It is brilliant to have Andrew return to the team before the end of the year. His injuries were much more significant than many people realise and we have worked together carefully to ensure that he is fully fit to race before facilitating this return. This of course coincides with Franco’s departure, and on behalf of everyone at Honda, I would like to thank him for his hard work during his time racing with us, he has a bright future ahead of him. I would also like to thank Matt Bainbridge and the Marvel HCL Motorsport team for their flexibility and continued support, without their understanding this would not have happened so thank you.”

Andrew Irwin

“I am really excited to be back again and I am looking forward to Donington! It is a weekend that I go into with absolutely no expectations. But one that I will enjoy because it is a weekend when I get to jump on a plane with my family and head to a racetrack. I have always said I am happiest when I am at a racetrack, but I am definitely happiest when I am racing at a racetrack! 

The goal for the weekend is just to enjoy it, and try to build throughout the weekend and the remaining two rounds. I want to be consistent and keep moving forward. I don’t expect any great results but the main thing is that I am back on two wheels and hopefully I can do the best job that I can given the situation that I am in. I have not raced in four months, and for sure I will be rusty but I look forward to going racing again. 

Thank you to everyone who has helped with my recovery and getting me back to this point.”

Tom Neave

“Donington is another opportunity for a fresh start after what happened at Oulton, crashing again definitely isn’t what I wanted. I am alright and feeling better now so we can reset and get going again. Last time we were at Donington we had an eighth which has been one of my best results of the year and I’d like to think that we can pick up from where we left off there, I had a good feeling all weekend and it is a really good track for me. I want to have a really good end to the season, I want to get a smile back on my face and just go out and enjoy my racing.”

Posted on Monday, September 25th, 2023 in News

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