Back on the podium in Supersport and a fighting ride in Superbike

Race Report
Honda Racing wraps up the opening round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship with a return to the podium in the Quattro Group British Supersport series with Jack Kennedy.

In the team’s first race of the year and the opening race of the weekend, Jack Kennedy delivered a composed performance to fire his Supersport CBR600RR onto the podium in third place. Fighting against bikes with greater engine capacity was always going to be difficult on a circuit with seven stop-start turns, but Jack expertly utilised the turning capabilities of his bike to put himself in contention as the drama unfolded ahead for his competitors. This race marked the first return of the factory Honda team to the Supersport series since 2013. In the second race, he came home in fifth as the headwind down the start-finish straight made it challenging to stick with the front group. Nevertheless, this opening weekend was a solid start to his championship and the team has gained valuable data heading to round two. 

In the opening Superbike race of the day, Tommy Bridewell recovered superbly from his thirteenth place grid position to bring his Fireblade home in a hugely commendable seventh place, and only just beaten to the line by Christian Iddon. In his second race, he then came out fighting with impressive pace and determined overtakes to run in third position and right in the fight, having set the quickest lap of the race, only for his quick-shifter to fail causing his unfortunate retirement. 

Meanwhile, both of his teammates encountered frustrating weekends where their true pace failed to come to the fore. Andrew Irwin’s best result of a thirteenth place is certainly not a reflection of his potential, but he heads to Oulton Park having made positive steps from the start of the weekend to its close. 

Dean Harrison, racing for the first time in Honda colours in BSB, was right in the battle for a point-scoring finish in both races. He finished the first race in eighteenth and sadly crashed out of the second race late on closing in on those in front. 

The team now returns to their base in Louth to prepare for the next test at Oulton Park, 1 - 2 May. 

#4 Jack Kennedy

It was a fantastic first race for the team and I am delighted to stick it on the podium and get some good points on the board. I just had to sit tight and do everything that I could during race one to try and gain back some pace in the places where I was strong, but not too hard to gain back too much so that I was losing elsewhere. It was very difficult for sure because I knew that I was on the limit already, so I just had to sit there and take any chances that I could. You could say that we got lucky with the podium but you have to be there to capitalise. In race two we got a slightly better start but then lost some ground as Perie came past. Then the safety car came out and the group bunched up again and I tried to stay with that front group. I rode the wheels off the CBR600RR to stay with them and gave it everything but fifth is all we could do. It’s some good points and ticks a lot of the objectives of the weekend so I am feeling happy and content with the weekend. We head to Oulton with some upgrades coming and with some solid foundations built. 
Race 1: P3 Race 2: P5

#1 Tommy Bridewell

Look I know there are some frustrations with the results of the weekend, I think a seventh place in race one was the best we could get from thirteenth on the grid, but to tell the truth, I take a hell of a lot of positives from this weekend. We have come here with a new bike and with lessons to be learned. Yes, we’ve had some technical issues and some teething problems but we have a  great package underneath us. When I got through to the front group in race two I had a smile on my face and I said to myself ‘You guys are in trouble now!’ We are going to get stronger and stronger and heading to Oulton, which is a bit more of a track for me, I think the bike with the split throttles is going to be really good there. I’ll keep my feet on the ground, I’m not getting too giddy and we will keep chipping away. 
Race 1: P7 Race 2: DNF

#18 Andrew Irwin

It’s been a trying weekend. We lost time on Tuesday morning, Wednesday morning and then didn’t ride at all on Thursday in the tests, which simply meant we lost track time and we came into the weekend on the back foot and had to play catch up. I crashed in FP1, so I put my hands up for that, and we lost more time. I didn’t come here to come thirteenth but we built as the weekend progressed. We made steps forward and the team has worked really, really hard putting in a lot of effort. It is nobody's fault what has happened this week, there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes and a lot of late nights. I want to thank the team and my crew, they have been away from home and their families for nearly a week and all of their hard work doesn’t go unnoticed by me, so thank you to them. 
Race 1: P16 Race 2: P13

#5 Dean Harrison

Not the results that we wanted today, but that’s racing to be honest. This isn’t my favourite style of track with a lot of stop-starts and it’s my first race on the Fireblade. We’ve learnt a lot but I do feel frustrated with what we’ve come out with to tell the truth. I know I’ve got more potential than these results and I think we have a better understanding of how to put it all together now. Now, we look to Oulton, a track that’s familiar with some more testing to come before the race weekend. 
Race 1: P18 Race 2: DNF

Bennetts British Superbike Championship 2024

Circuito de Navarra, Race 1

Race 1

Bennetts British Superbike Championship 2024

Circuito de Navarra, Race 2

Race 2