Glenn Irwin finishes fourth in Race One
The Honda Racing UK team were in action today at Round 9 of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park, where Glenn Irwin finished fourth in the opening eBay Sprint Race aboard the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP.
Throughout the 14-lap race Glenn made his way through the pack from his starting position of ninth, to cross the line originally fifth. However, after an incident involving Jason O’Halloran and Peter Hickman, Peter was excluded from his part in Jason’s crash which promoted Glenn to fourth. Ahead of tomorrow’s races Glenn remains fourth in the overall Showdown standings, but after a DNF for Tarran Mackenzie, Glenn is now just within two points of the 2021 BSB champion in third.
Meanwhile Glenn’s teammates have also enjoyed making progress at the Cheshire circuit, with Ryo Mizuno, Takumi Takahashi and Tom Neave all scoring their personal best lap times. During the morning qualifying it was Tom and Takumi battling for a spot in Q2 with Tom in the top-six for most of the session, however a late dash from Takumi saw him take the final spot in sixth, demoting Tom to eighth place.
In the opening race of the weekend it was Tom who made up the most places from his grid position in 20th, where he crossed the line in 13th, adding more points to his tally. Takumi finished Race 1 16th, with Ryo 18th.
#2 Glenn Irwin
“Today’s race was enjoyable and everything was good apart from the start position and the first lap! I made a good pass on Lee [Jackson], followed by Rory [Skinner], Andrew [Irwin] and Danny [Buchan], to pull big moves against those lads who are all good is very confidence inspiring. The main thing is seeing the likes of Tommy [Bridewell], Pete [Hickman] and Jason [O’Halloran] all coming closer to me in the last few laps, and that’s something I’ve not been able to say since I joined Honda at this circuit, as we do have our work cut out here. We showed at Snetterton that we’re making progress, and again today we made a real positive step forward. Tomorrow’s grid position for Race 2, we are only a place better than today, so it’s head down, get a better start, enjoy the race and get stuck in.”
#88 Ryo Mizuno
“I struggled with rear grip and couldn’t maintain my pace in the second half of the race. I’ve set a new personal best and I don’t think I’m in bad shape, so I’ll do my best in the two races tomorrow.”
#13 Takumi Takahashi
“Oulton Park isn’t my favourite track, but I was in a good rhythm in FP1 and FP2, but I crashed in FP3. Due to the crash in FP3, I didn’t get a good feeling in Q1 and Q2, and I tried in Race 1 but couldn’t make a big improvement. I have clear points to improve for tomorrow, so I will do my best to enjoy the race tomorrow.”
#68 Tom Neave
“We scored more points today, which is a good thing, I also did my fastest lap round here which is more progress. It would have been nice to break into the 34s, but we can maybe set that as a goal for tomorrow’s races. I keep measuring myself off Glenn, the fastest Honda, and his lap times, what he’s doing, and I’m now seventh-tenths off him, so as long as I can keep shortening that window it’s looking better. My aim is to take that next step in the championship and I want to keep in front of Danny [Kent], I had a good race with him today, but a little mistake cost me the position in front of him. Tomorrow it will be elbows out, we have a better starting position and I’m feeling good compared to Round 2 here, where after the sprint race I felt knackered and that I had nothing left, but today I felt good in myself and enjoyed it out there.”
A sensational second place for Glenn Irwin at Oulton Park
The Honda Racing UK team are leaving the ninth round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park celebrating after a solid weekend, which saw Glenn Irwin take second place in the final race of the day aboard the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP.
Getting his Showdown challenge off to a strong start, Glenn and the team have made progress across the weekend taking two fourth places in the eBay Sprint Race and today’s Race 2. Breaking into the 33s during today’s first race, Glenn showed podium pace and for a few laps was running second, but it wasn’t meant to be as he had to settle for another fourth position.
For the final race of the day Glenn and the Fireblade were in pole position, but after a move by Tommy Bridewell on the opening lap, Glenn was a position behind in second place. Across the shortened 15-lap race Glenn held strong, defending the second-place spot and fending off the chasing pack, to come home scoring his best finish at Oulton Park with the Fireblade.
Glenn’s result from this weekend (4-4-2), leaves him in a strong position in the Showdown, with the next round taking place at Donington Park’s GP circuit next weekend, where he’s fourth in the overall standings with 1062 points and just three points behind Lee Jackson in third place.
For Glenn’s teammates it has been a weekend of two halves, Superbike rookie Tom Neave enjoyed a strong race yesterday where he scored points finishing 14th. But his luck turned today where he crashed out of both races, unhurt. Takumi Takahashi leaves the weekend with one point scoring finish in today’s first race in 14th place, but finished just outside the points in 16th place in the final race. Meanwhile Ryo Mizuno struggled to improve from his Race 2 position where he finished in the points in 15th after coming home 20th in the final race.
The team will now look forward to the tenth round of the series, which takes place in just a few days’ time at Donington Park on 30 September – 2 October.
#2 Glenn Irwin
“This weekend is a reward for a lot of hard work and the biggest credit must go to the team, we have a bike that is a fantastic Superstock bike, and also a fantastic Superbike at many different tracks, as we have seen in road racing and also here in BSB. But we’ve also had tracks where we have been weaker. I’d love to have won today and on the final lap I tried with Tommy [Bridewell] and I could see his tyre was dropping off so I had to get Druids as good as I could, and I feel that I got it as good as I could, we just lost out a little to him in the run to the last corner. But to come away with a second place here, it feels like a victory! It’s been an incredible run of races with Snetterton and being so close to a podium there, then two fourths and a second here. The consistency that got us into the Showdown remains so far and we now go to Donington, which is a track where I think we’ll be a lot stronger.”
#88 Ryo Mizuno
“In race two I was able to improve my pace and score some points. In race three I had a problem with the rear tyre from the start and had to slow down. It was a disappointing end, but I feel confident that I improved my best time by more than a second and scored some points here in Oulton. We will be back at Donington Park soon and we will be ready for the challenge.”
#13 Takumi Takahashi
“Oulton Park isn’t an easy track for me, but I started the first day in a good mood. But after the crash in FP3, I lost my rhythm a bit and it was not an ideal weekend for me. After three races, I can see a lot of issues to improve on again, so I’ll be ready for Donington Park next weekend.”
#68 Tom Neave
“It’s been a weekend of two halves really, it started off building nicely; I had one of the best feelings I’d had all year with the Fireblade, I did my fastest-ever lap and I was feeling confident we could work through the field and start to make some solid progress. But unfortunately with the events of race two with three restarts and a crash I couldn’t avoid, it turned south pretty quickly! For the final race as I didn’t score a time in Race 2 I was starting from the back of the grid, and I was eager to come through and maybe just tried a little too hard to catch the guys ahead to do a good lap time, and ended up tucking the front. It was a disastrous Sunday really, from what should have been a really good solid weekend in the points, I was 14th in warm-up and everything was set-up to be a solid day. But, we go to Donington which is a track I like in five days, so fingers crossed we can have a good weekend there.”