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Eazi Grip

Tommy Bridewell, Andrew Irwin and Jack Kennedy on the podium for Honda Racing UK at Knockhill

Team Honda Racing’s Tommy Bridewell and Andrew Irwin raced to outstanding podium finishes at Knockhill today, with a commanding win for Tommy and a fantastic third place for Andrew, both brushing aside the incessant challenges of Fife’s notorious weather.

Although Friday’s Free Practice sessions brought mixed outcomes for the Honda Racing UK team, the results were enough to put Bridwell and Irwin through to Saturday’s Qualifying 2, whilst Yorkshireman Dean Harrison did battle in Qualifying 1, finishing the session in 10th and a frustrating 22nd on the start grid. In Q2 Tommy topped the charts with Andrew in 6th, putting Tommy on Pole Position for Race 1 and Andrew in 6th.

With teams gearing up to do battle, the rain rolled in from the hills and ruined what was dry and sunny first half of the day. A new race schedule was issued and BSB Race 1 screamed off the grid at 16:50 for 25 laps of Bridewell mastery on the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP. With early lap times often a full second faster than anyone on track Tommy settle into a commanding advantage and crossed the line with 2.572 second lead. Meanwhile Andrew Irwin set about a determined battle in fourth, pushing his Fireblade up to third and then second. He would eventually cross the line in third place and join teammate Tommy on the podium for some well-earned celebrations.

Struggling to fine his true-form in Race 1 Dean Harrison worked hard to make up some valuable places towards the end of the race, eventually crossing the line in 19th place.

Race wins continued to rain down on the Honda Racing UK as County Meath racer Jack Kennedy fired his CBR600RR into an early race lead and set a pace that no-one could match. Kennedy crossed the line with a 3.153 lead and took the top step of the podium as a delighted team cheered on.

With Sunday’s forecast threatening to repeat today’s uncertainty the team will be digging deep to maintain consistency and build upon Saturday’s successes.

Tommy Bridewell: “Yeah, it’s been a rollercoaster so far at Knockhill this weekend. More so because of the weather in all honesty.

We’ve been limited with time in the dry to be able to do too much with the bike, but ultimately we’ve not needed to do too much because bike’s worked so well straight out the crate here; wet and dry. And I’ve just felt comfortable on the bike. Qualifying was crucial for me because I knew we needed to be as high up as possible, so to put it on Pole Position was a massive massive tick and and half of the work done. I then also then knew that going into that race it was crucial really for me to get there the lead straight away into turn one.  It’s also my first Superbike win at Knockhill and just another testament of the bike.

Really-really happy for Honda. Really happy for this new Fireblade and for the whole project that we’re doing. It’s amazing. Yeah, just looking forward to the future.”

Andrew Irwin: “This weekend for sure has not been easy with the weather, but we’ve always been quite fast; no matter what the weather’s been. So that’s always important.

Friday we made good progress. I went straight through to Q2 and in the wet and dry I was in and around the top 10, but I knew if we made a few changes for the dry, we’d be competitive. I qualified 6th, which is good, because you want to be on the front two rows to have a chance of being on the podium or to win the race.

Then in the race, I started 6th, I got to 3rd, dropped back to 4th, and then went back to 2nd, then back to 3rd, but I felt good. The team’s done a fantastic job. The bike was absolutely fantastic, and lots of credit to everyone at Honda, they’ve done a really good job with what we have. I’m really happy with that and I’m absolutely excited to be back on the podium again.

Thank you to absolutely everyone at Honda and everyone back at Honda UK. Neil Fletcher, Havier Beltran, my crew chief Spider, my mechanics. Everybody.”

Dean Harrison: “It’s the first time I’ve actually rode the bike in the rain, to be honest. The bike’s good though. The bike’s brilliant. It’s just I’m having a bit of an off weekend in myself.

I don’t feel the best and I said to the lads there’s not really a lot to change with the bike. It’s maybe a couple of little things to make it a bit better to suit me, but there’s more to come from me than the actual bike itself.

I just need to get into it a little bit more. But I think we’ll be all right.”

Jack Kennedy: “We’ve had a very positive round here. We’ve been quickest in the wet with all the rain yesterday and then straight into a dry qualifying with no previous data for this track. So the team made very good calculated decisions on the settings for the qualifying and we managed to qualify on pole position which was our first one of the year which is a great boost for me and the team.

I just tried to stay focused, to stay consistent and I managed to put enough of a gap in that I had a comfortable lead on the last lap to bring home our first win, which is absolutely amazing.

This just proves how hard all the lads are working to be working and for nothing to miss a beat is credit to the team, so a massive thanks to Honda and we look forward to tomorrow.”

Tommy Bridewell and Jack Kennedy lead the British Championships

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Scotland’s only FIA approved circuit didn’t disappoint with exhilarating racing, scorchingly fast laps, hot sunshine, cold rain and some outstanding results for Team Honda Racing UK.

After scoring his 28th career pole position on Saturday, Tommy Bridewell took his CBR1000RR Fireblade SP to a Race 1 win and another Pole Position for Sunday’s Race 2. Starting the race only four points off the championship lead there was a lot at stake for the boundless Wiltshireman as Knockhill’s infamous weather did what it does and the rain fell hard.

With everything to lose Tommy headed the charge on the opening lap, but an understandably cautious race developed allowing riders through when necessary to eventually cross the finish-line in a solid third place, just 0.014 seconds off second place. Teammate Andrew Irwin had an unlucky crash on lap one; an early victim of the treacherous conditions, whilst Dean Harrison again struggled to find the form he’s more than capable of. Harrison crossed the line in 17th place, an improvement however of two positions over Race 1.

Bad luck haunted Irwin and Harrison in Race 3, both not finishing the race yet both capable of mixing it with the best. Meanwhile Tommy locked himself into another ferocious battle towards the front, pushing his way up from an early fourth place to an eventual second place finish after a red-flagged 22 laps of the expected 30, just 0.635 off the lead.

A delighted Tommy Bridewell now leads the championship by 11 points with seven rounds and 21 races to go.

Supersport superstar Jack Kennedy proved that what he can do in the dry, he can also do in the wet as Race 2 developed into almighty battle of patience, throttle control and outright bravery. After 19 minutes 49.624 seconds of Race 2 the dauntless Dubliner crossed the line with another race win shooting him into a nine point championship lead aboard the fantastic Honda CBR600RR.

Tommy Bridewell: “Honestly I couldn’t be happier to come away from this weekend with a first, a third and a second.

We came into this weekend 22 points down, so yeah I’m over the moon. Absolutely delighted.

The final race was cut a bit short and the bike was working good, but the conditions were changing lap by lap, it was drying out quite a lot, so it was tough. A really tough race. I just tried to ride clean and maintain the gap to the lead, but also maintain the gap that I had from the chasing pack.

Credit to the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP. It’s really working well now and I feel really good and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Andrew Irwin: “This weekend honestly you can look at negatives, or you can look at positives.

In the dry I qualified in sixth. The first race yesterday I was third. It probably took me a little bit to get going, but still we fought back. We went back to fourth, the back to second and finished third.

It was a good start this morning in Race 2. I was third when I crashed, but it was only in the fifth or sixth corner and I had quite a big crash.

The at the start of Race 3 I got going okay and I think I was running ninth, eighth or ninth. We had a bit of a problem which stopped us from progressing.

We have to look at the positives. I came from a big crash this morning and didn’t let it affect me. I think we were going forward in that race but that’s the way it goes, the team have done a great job, thank you to them for rebuilding the bike and I look forward to a week off before we go testing next week.

I feel like I’m riding in a much better way and I just have to be patient and let it come.”

Dean Harrison: “Honestly, I’ve had a really frustrating weekend all in all. The frustrating thing is the lads are good, the bike’s good. I’ve been poor basically. This sounds like a poor excuse, but I felt off all weekend and I’ve just not got my head into any of it really. So, I look quite a bit lost, because the potential of the bike obviously speaks for itself.

So I’m going to put this one down to experience and start again next time.”

Jack Kennedy: “I don’t think we could have had a better weekend than we’ve had here at Knockhill for Round four of the British Supersport championship and we nearly topped every session.

We got our first pole of the year and we’ve come away with two wins in dry and wet conditions. The team have been faultless. The Honda  CBR600RR has been amazing at this Knockhill Circuit. We changed our strategy a little bit from what I normally do here on a 600 and it really paid off to ride a little bit more like the guys at the front are riding to make life hard for them like they make life hard for me and it really paid off. I didn’t think the strategy would work on the on the 600 in line four but it has worked really well, so credit to the team for giving me this set up.

The bike’s been faultless and I keep stating how many days the lads have been working for nearly two months straight, no days off and there was no beat missed anywhere so I can’t thank my team enough. Everybody knows this is a team sport. Although it’s an individual rider out there, without the tools and the team and the atmosphere and everything behind you, you are not going to get the results, so I have to give this weekend to the team because I will always ride to the best of my ability, but if I haven’t got the tools and the team, it’s not going to happen. So again credit to the team big thanks to all my lads Scott, Tom, Ryan and Matt for everything. Thanks to them.

We look forward to starting in two weeks time when the lads are gonna be walking hard behind the scenes and we might have an even stronger bike for the next time, so I can’t wait.

 

Posted on Monday, June 17th, 2024 in News

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