A weekend of positives despite challenges at Oulton Park

Race Report
It's been a weekend of learnings for the Honda Racing UK team at the opening round of the 2021 Bennetts British Superbike Championship, but despite the challenges thrown at them by Oulton Park, the Honda team are leaving the Cheshire circuit with plenty of positives.

Improvements have been made to both the Superbike and Superstock side of the garage with Glenn Irwin and Tom Neave improving their lap times over the weekend since the last outing in 2020. But Oulton Park is still a circuit that continues to taunt the Honda team, producing challenges for the set-up of the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP with its physical layout. 

Glenn Irwin comes away from Round 1 with 23 points and is ninth in the series standings after collecting three top-ten finishes across the weekend. The team made a gamble in the final race with the Fireblades set-up, which paid off, although not fully showing on the times or results. 

Glenn started the race from 10th on the grid but was pushed off track by another rider early on causing him to drop places to 19th. Getting his head down wanting to make up the lost places, Glenn worked hard aboard the Fireblade SP to make his way through the pack to come home 10th. 

Takumi Takahashi put on a brave face taking part in both of the day's races, but with weakness in his shoulder having dislocated it during official testing Takumi pulled out from Race 2. During today's final race the BSB rookie stayed out for the duration of the 18 laps coming home in an impressive 17th place having gained experience and confidence at the track. 

Ryo Mizuno continued to push on learning the circuit but unfortunately crashed out during the second race and with swelling to his hand he was forced to miss the final race. After the crash Ryo was taken to the medical centre with initial X-rays showing no fractures, however the team will seek further medical advice next week once the swelling has gone down. 

During the Superstock race a fight for the podium was on the cards for Tom Neave, who after qualifying sixth had moved up into fourth place and had started to track down Billy McConnell in third. However pushing hard to catch Billy, Tom crashed out of the running, unhurt, at Lodge. 

The team now looks forward to the second round of the championship at Knockhill in Scotland, where a few weeks ago they enjoyed a successful test and hope to fight towards the sharp end. Round 2 will take place with a two-day race event format on Saturday 10 - Sunday 11 July. 


#2 Glenn Irwin

It has been a testing weekend, but we are coming away having learnt a lot. The third race was probably our best ride of the weekend, we made a big change to the Fireblade taking a bit of a risk, but we wanted to try something to give us an insight here when we come back at the end of the year, and potentially at other circuits. The Fireblade was working really well in that race, but I had a collision on lap one with another rider which set me back to 20th and it was tough from there. Everyone we caught we were able to pass immediately. It was a promising final race with our worst result of the weekend, but the best in terms of the development we managed to achieve with the Fireblade. Hats off to Jason with his three wins this weekend!

#88 Ryo Mizuno

I did not want to end my first weekend in BSB with a crash, so it's been a sad ending. I had a good feeling in the morning practice and was hoping to get a better understanding of the bike during the two races, but crashed early in Race 2 and was not able to start the final race. I am sure that I am getting a better understanding of the BSB Fireblade every time I ride it, so I will keep working on it and look forward to Knockhill in a few weeks. 

#13 Takumi Takahashi

It has been a difficult weekend for my first race in BSB, but I have enjoyed the laps here and getting to learn the circuit more, which will help when we return later this season. Race 2 was very difficult to finish, so I had to pull in with the same reason as yesterday as my shoulder is not strong enough. In Race 3 I tried a different riding style, it was good to finish the race but it was difficult for me this weekend. I will come back stronger for Round 2! 

#68 Tom Neave

It has been a bitter sweet weekend really, we have improved on every aspect from last year and I felt comfortable on the Fireblade. However the biggest problem this weekend has been away from the bike and with me with a lack of energy and focus due to a recent illness which I have recovered from now, but I'm still suffering with energy levels. I knew this weekend was going to be a challenge but I gave it my all and my times improved massively, and in the race we were definitely in the fight for a podium spot until I crashed out. We're now heading to Knockhill which is a circuit I love and we had a successful test there a few weeks back. I want to say a massive thank you to the team for all their hard work, it's so good to be back in the swing of things, it's a long season where anything can happen, so roll on Round 2! 

British Superbike 2021

Oulton Park, Race 3

Pos. Name No. Team Constructor Time/Gap Pts.
1 Jason O'Halloran 22 McAMS Yamaha Yamaha 28:37.270 25
2 Christian Iddon 21 Visiontrack Ducati Ducati +0.569 20
3 Tommy Bridewell 46 Oxford Products Racing Ducati +0.781 16
4 Tarran Mackenzie 95 McAMS Yamaha Yamaha +1.025 13
5 Peter Hickman 60 FHO Racing BMW BMW +6.949 11
6 Josh Brookes 25 Visiontrack Ducati Ducati +10.024 10
7 Lee Jackson 14 FS-3 Racing Kawasaki +10.182 9
8 Danny Buchan 83 Synetiq BMW Motorrad BMW +10.715 8
9 Ryan Vickers 7 RAF Regular and Reserve Kawasaki +13.054 7
10 Glenn Irwin 2 Honda Racing UK Honda +18.366 6
11 Gino Rea 44 Buildbase Suzuki Suzuki +18.921 5
12 Kyle Ryde 77 Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW +19.000 4
13 Rory Skinner 69 FS-3 Racing Kawasaki +33.215 3
14 Luke Hopkins 16 Hopkins Racing Honda +48.566 2
15 Dan Linfoot 4 TAG Racing Honda Honda +48.999 1
17 Takumi Takahashi 13 Honda Racing UK Honda +1:23.891 0

British Superbike 2021

Oulton Park, Race 2

Pos. Name No. Team Constructor Time/Gap Pts.
1 Jason O'Halloran 22 McAMS Yamaha Yamaha 28:38.583 25
2 Christian Iddon 21 Visiontrack Ducati Ducati +0.103 20
3 Peter Hickman 60 FHO Racing BMW BMW +7.057 16
4 Danny Buchan 83 Synetiq BMW Motorrad BMW +11.059 13
5 Bradley Ray 28 Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW +11.101 11
6 Tarran Mackenzie 95 McAMS Yamaha Yamaha +11.752 10
7 Josh Brookes 25 Visiontrack Ducati Ducati +11.816 9
8 Lee Jackson 14 FS-3 Racing Kawasaki +12.353 8
9 Glenn Irwin 2 Honda Racing UK Honda +12.533 7
10 Kyle Ryde 77 Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW +12.570 6
11 Ryan Vickers 7 RAF Regular and Reserve Kawasaki +17.818 5
12 Rory Skinner 69 FS-3 Racing Kawasaki +23.722 4
13 Gino Rea 44 Buildbase Suzuki Suzuki +31.052 3
14 Danny Kent 52 Buildbase Suzuki Suzuki +31.122 2
15 Andrew Irwin 18 Synetiq BMW Motorrad BMW +35.090 1

National Superstock 2021

Oulton Park, Race 1

Pos. Name No. Team Constructor Time/Gap Pts.
1 Taylor Mackenzie 77 Bathams BMW Motorrad BMW 22:45.863 25
2 Luke Mossey 32 Bournemouth Kawasaki/HEL Performance Kawasaki +2.791 20
3 Billy McConnell 3 Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW +8.633 16
4 Luke Hedger 12 Jones Dorling Racing Suzuki +10.837 13
5 Tim Neave 14 Buildbase Suzuki Suzuki +13.070 11
6 Alex Olsen 75 FHO Racing BMW BMW +14.194 10
7 Levi Day 17 Powerslide AJN Steelstock Suzuki +19.063 9
8 Brayden Elliott 51 No Bull Racing CFS Filtration Suzuki Suzuki +19.251 8
9 Keith Farmer 33 Morello IMR by CPD Kawasaki +22.879 7
10 Ian Hutchinson 44 Edwards Yamaha Yamaha +23.390 6
11 Tom Oliver 50 Hawk Racing Suzuki +23.750 5
12 Lewis Rollo 8 RAF Regular and Reserve Kawasaki +24.182 4
13 Richard Kerr 6 AMD Motorsport Honda +29.278 3
14 Joe Sheldon-Shaw 10 Protect My Income Suzuki +29.718 2
15 Jordan Weaving 34 Jones Dorling Racing Suzuki +34.751 1