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Eazi Grip

Eazi-Grip supported British Superbike riders Danny Buchan, Glenn Irwin, Christian Iddon and Jason O’Halloran share their thoughts ahead of Donington this weekend

Danny Buchan – Synetiq BMW

Danny Buchan heads into this weekend’s fifth round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Donington Park confident of fighting to add to his tally of four podium finishes so far in his 2021 title campaign.

The SYNETIQ BMW rider currently holds fourth place in the overall standings and is equal in the all-important Podium Points tally with Tarran Mackenzie ahead of him, with the next three races coming up this weekend.

“The biggest thing so far this season is that we have been consistently up the front and we are in the title fight in only my fourth round with the SYNETIQ BMW team and the new BMW M 1000 RR,” said Buchan ahead of the weekend. “When you sign for a new team, you always expect it to take a few races to get yourself acclimatised and bedded in, so I didn’t really have any expectations on the opening rounds.

“I am not surprised with where we are at currently because the first time I jumped on the new bike I knew it was going to be good from the very start. The results we have had so far this season have backed that up; coming from the double at Knockhill and three fourth places at Brands Hatch, we were close again.”

Buchan has already been impressed by the strengths of the all-new BMW M 1000 RR after the opening races, and along with Tarran Mackenzie, consistency is paying off as the pair are the only two riders to have scored points in every race so far this season.

Buchan added to his podium tally last time out at Thruxton, pushing hard for second place in the final race of the weekend, which put him 11 points adrift of Mackenzie in the standings.

“To be back on the podium at Thruxton was amazing,” added Buchan. “The biggest thing from the last round was keeping on with the Podium Points for the Showdown; we wanted to top them up. It’s a credit to the team, they have given me a good bike and we will continue to work hard to try and keep improving.

“We were getting faster as the weekend went on at Thruxton and the mixed conditions in the final race gave me a little bit more of an advantage. I could see the conditions were changing and it was a bit of an unknown as to who had gone on which tyre, and I really like those conditions.

“That was great to come away P2 as when we started the weekend it was a little bit more difficult as the weather kept changing, and we didn’t have a set-up for there, so we were putting the bike in different places to see what worked best, and we really got more of a direction after the first race. I have to thank the team, as they knew what would make me faster.”

Buchan is relishing the upcoming tracks on the calendar, with Cadwell Park just a few days after this weekend’s action at Donington Park, one of his highlights of the season. The Essex-based contender trails series leader Jason O’Halloran by 70 points, but knows what will count will be holding a top eight position ahead of the end of season Showdown, and bagging the crucial Podium Points.

“The tracks coming up are ones I am looking forward to massively too,” said Buchan. “I was a little bit unlucky at the Donington Park test earlier in the year, I didn’t really get many laps, so we might have to play a little bit more catch up at the start of the weekend, but I am not too fussed. The weather could change, but wet or dry we seem to have been fast so far.

“When you are in a championship fight you have to think of the longer game too, I know when it comes to the Showdown we wouldn’t be too far away with the Podium Points, he has a buffer at the moment but anything can happen. Motorbike racing is crazy and we are pushing every lap of every session, so we just need to be consistent and take as many points as we can to be in that title fight.

“We have been competitive with the new BMW M 1000 RR everywhere so far and the biggest test was from Knockhill to Brands Hatch. We have seen from our results, and Hicky too has been on the podium, so it shows how aggressive BMW are being in the way they want to succeed in the championship and it is great to be a part of that.

“I am confident we can be quick again this weekend; we know we can fight and that is a massive confidence booster for any rider, when you have that confidence, that is when the results come. The team are doing a fantastic job and we just need to keep bringing the results home again this weekend!”

Jason O’Halloran – McAMS Yamaha

Jason O’Halloran arrives at the fifth round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Donington Park this weekend (August 13/14/15) heading the title fight after his triple win at Thruxton. The McAMS Yamaha rider has a 42-point edge in the standings, but knows that it will be the Podium Points that will prove crucial ahead of the Showdown.

O’Halloran has excelled so far in 2021, winning seven races to give him the edge currently in the battle to become champion, and confidence continues to grow for the Australian contender as he bids to add to his tally this weekend.

“I am feeling really good,” reflected O’Halloran. “We have had four rounds so far and I have managed to win a race at three of them, and although we didn’t win at Knockhill, it was my first ever podium there, so we have had a podium at every round.

“I am comfortable and confident with what we are doing and I am feeling really good on the McAMS Yamaha, obviously coming off the back of three wins at Thruxton, two dry and one in the wet, gives me a huge amount of confidence going forwards.”

Donington Park was a circuit where the O’Show finished twice on the podium last season, and one that he believes should prove to be a strong circuit for the McAMS Yamaha.

“Heading to Donington Park, it is a track that I love racing at, we were on the podium there last year, and even more importantly we had a really good pre-season test there,” added O’Halloran. “Not so much topping the test, but it went strongly for us with our race pace, so I expect another strong weekend.

“I think it will be even more competitive this weekend as Thruxton was a little bit of a different circuit, and I think there are quite a few of us who go well at Donington Park, so I think we are set for some great racing. I feel like I am carrying some good form at the moment and I just want to maintain that.

“Between myself and the team, we are working together to get the most out of the bike and me. If we can continue to do that, these next few weekends are really important because, although you look at the standings and think you have a 42-point lead, that becomes irrelevant when we get to the Showdown. We need to keep racking up the Podium Points as that is what will be important once we are secure in the top eight, to keep ourselves in the strongest position possible.”

O’Halloran’s impressive campaign comes off the back of finishing runner-up in 2020 following several seasons where he was battling back from injury.

“Your path shapes you and I have come off a couple of rough years where I have had some bad injuries,” said O’Halloran. “The last year and a half, I have changed a lot of how I work and do things as a rider and that is paying dividends now. I keep trying to improve both my knowledge and skill with the bike and at the minute, I still feel like a bit of a sponge and trying to absorb and learn as much as I can. I feel young and always learning. I am refreshed and excited to get racing every weekend and trying to do the best job we can.”

O’Halloran’s winning tally puts him ahead of his rivals, who will now be chasing down his winning advantage, however this hasn’t fazed him, as he bids to continue his momentum this weekend at Donington Park.

“I think for sure when someone starts winning a bit everyone starts to think they need to beat that person,” added O’Halloran. “That brings a little bit of pressure, but it is wanted pressure as that is where we want to be! It’s a good thing and it’s a privilege as we have worked hard to be in this position.

“We will just keep the focus on our own work and not get too carried away. There is a long way to go yet and we have only had four rounds, but to have seven wins and nine podiums is an amazing achievement, so we want to keep that going.

“The next tracks coming up are ones I really enjoy; I love racing at Donington Park, maybe even more for Cadwell Park as we missed it last year and that is a track I really want to win at! These next weeks coming up are big weeks for me and I want to be successful in those races.”

Of course, if any rider can win all six races across the next two events at Donington Park and Cadwell Park then they can win big with the Milwaukee Summer Grand Slam and take home £50,000. There is also the chance of a prize for celebrating five of the six victories or by claiming four of the six.

O’Halloran joked: “There is no reason why we can’t try and win some of the money! The next six races are at tracks that have been good for me before and the McAMS Yamaha works really well there. Cadwell Park is one of my favourite tracks so it’s definitely there to be had.

“If you look, I have won seven of the 12 races so far this year, it’s definitely achievable but at the same time we need to keep focused on the championship and the right things for that. If the right reasons are there, and I feel good and the bike feels good, then absolutely we will be going for it! Let’s see if we can win at Donington first and then we will take it race by race as it is a fantastic thing to have up for grabs and it would be even better to win it!”

Glenn Irwin – Honda Racing

Glenn Irwin heads to Donington Park this weekend with high hopes of a repeat performance of the success that the Honda Racing team had at the circuit last year.

In 2020, the team claimed a double victory with Andrew Irwin, and Glenn Irwin ensured that it was a consistent weekend of top three finishes for the former title-winning team, bagging a trio of second places.

As the Main Season reaches the half-way point this weekend, Glenn Irwin knows that he needs to add to his Thruxton podium at the previous event, to ensure that he elevates himself towards the top eight in the standings ahead of the Showdown.

Speaking ahead of the weekend, Irwin said: “We go into this weekend off the back of the podium at Thruxton, which was important for myself and everyone in the Honda Racing team. We have had a more difficult start to the year, but throughout all of that, we have been trying many different things, so maybe the results haven’t been phenomenal, but we have been continuing to test and develop.

“I feel like at Thruxton, yes we were on the different tyre which helped, and you need to be strong on the SCX which is back into play this weekend, but we backed it up with a good test at Cadwell Park after Thruxton. To me that went really, really well and we had a few different ideas on areas where we have been struggling and we had objectives to fix those. I feel we achieved a lot at the test, the bike felt good and there was a great atmosphere within the team. It was productive and should stand us in good stead.

“We are going back to a track where we have achieved great results last year; the team were not off the podium, so I am confident. I feel that together me and the Honda Fireblade work well and we have made important improvements since then too.”

Christian Iddon – VisionTrack Ducati

Christian Iddon is ready to bounce back at Donington Park this weekend as he bids to reclaim the ground that was lost in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings last time out at Thruxton.

The VisionTrack Ducati rider had been trading positions at the top of the standings with current leader Jason O’Halloran, but after a strong start to the weekend at Thruxton with a seventh podium, Sunday’s races were a completely different story.

In race two, Iddon’s run of 33 consecutive finishes ended when Lee Jackson crashed, taking him down too, and subsequently scoring no points and in the final race he mustered a ninth place.

Looking back on the previous round, Iddon said: “Saturday at Thruxton was really, really good. It was a shame that we didn’t have the final laps because of the red flag, but second place felt really good and I was happy with that. I knew Sunday would be difficult because of the tyre situation, which was the same for everyone.

“The second race of the weekend was going to plan, I was managing my own race and not trying to get caught up in any battles to try and save the tyre. I was in third, when unfortunately I was collected by Lee when he crashed and we both ended up out. It was my first DNF in 33 races, so that was really disappointing.

“The last race of the weekend was definitely more disappointing than the previous one; it was frustrating to lose the championship lead in that manner the race before, but my performance in the final race wasn’t what I had hoped for. I get more disappointment from that than anything else. It was strange as I was happy with my tyre choice, but my grid position made it harder to start with in those conditions. I couldn’t see where was damp or dry and so I was riding around and then got going after lap five or six and reduced the gap to the leaders, but then it all went wrong.

“We went for a really dry set-up with the bike and I had a really big moment into the Complex where I had crashed earlier. I ran off track and that was really the warning that slowed me up. From then on, I wasn’t pushing it as hard as it needed to be pushed with the harder set-up.

“I had been struggling as I had so little feel at the front of the bike so it was frustrating. When I reviewed the race back there was absolutely no reason why we couldn’t have been on the podium with our pace, so it was even more disappointing to have lost a load of points in both the standings and in the Showdown. I left Thruxton disappointed, which is funny because if the podium had been in the last race, it probably wouldn’t have felt so bad.”

Looking ahead to this weekend’s action at Donington Park, the VisionTrack Ducati rider is determined to bridge the deficit and is feeling confident that he can once again be back and challenging for the podium.

“I think our bike works quite well at Donington, although I think it does tend to be stronger on the longer GP layout,” added Iddon. “My side of the garage has definitely made a step forward again since we were here last year, and I believe we are in a better position compared to 2020.

“We just want to get the ball rolling again this weekend; we have been keeping the momentum flowing nicely up until the second race at Thruxton. We need to regain the momentum, especially as the rounds are so close together now. It certainly doesn’t take much for it to swing back the other way again, I will just do what I always do – the best job I possibly can.”

Christian Iddon is ready to bounce back at Donington Park this weekend as he bids to reclaim the ground that was lost in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings last time out at Thruxton.

The VisionTrack Ducati rider had been trading positions at the top of the standings with current leader Jason O’Halloran, but after a strong start to the weekend at Thruxton with a seventh podium, Sunday’s races were a completely different story.

In race two, Iddon’s run of 33 consecutive finishes ended when Lee Jackson crashed, taking him down too, and subsequently scoring no points and in the final race he mustered a ninth place.

Looking back on the previous round, Iddon said: “Saturday at Thruxton was really, really good. It was a shame that we didn’t have the final laps because of the red flag, but second place felt really good and I was happy with that. I knew Sunday would be difficult because of the tyre situation, which was the same for everyone.

“The second race of the weekend was going to plan, I was managing my own race and not trying to get caught up in any battles to try and save the tyre. I was in third, when unfortunately I was collected by Lee when he crashed and we both ended up out. It was my first DNF in 33 races, so that was really disappointing.

“The last race of the weekend was definitely more disappointing than the previous one; it was frustrating to lose the championship lead in that manner the race before, but my performance in the final race wasn’t what I had hoped for. I get more disappointment from that than anything else. It was strange as I was happy with my tyre choice, but my grid position made it harder to start with in those conditions. I couldn’t see where was damp or dry and so I was riding around and then got going after lap five or six and reduced the gap to the leaders, but then it all went wrong.

“We went for a really dry set-up with the bike and I had a really big moment into the Complex where I had crashed earlier. I ran off track and that was really the warning that slowed me up. From then on, I wasn’t pushing it as hard as it needed to be pushed with the harder set-up.

“I had been struggling as I had so little feel at the front of the bike so it was frustrating. When I reviewed the race back there was absolutely no reason why we couldn’t have been on the podium with our pace, so it was even more disappointing to have lost a load of points in both the standings and in the Showdown. I left Thruxton disappointed, which is funny because if the podium had been in the last race, it probably wouldn’t have felt so bad.”

Looking ahead to this weekend’s action at Donington Park, the VisionTrack Ducati rider is determined to bridge the deficit and is feeling confident that he can once again be back and challenging for the podium.

“I think our bike works quite well at Donington, although I think it does tend to be stronger on the longer GP layout,” added Iddon. “My side of the garage has definitely made a step forward again since we were here last year, and I believe we are in a better position compared to 2020.

“We just want to get the ball rolling again this weekend; we have been keeping the momentum flowing nicely up until the second race at Thruxton. We need to regain the momentum, especially as the rounds are so close together now. It certainly doesn’t take much for it to swing back the other way again, I will just do what I always do – the best job I possibly can.”

Posted on Thursday, August 12th, 2021 in News

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