BSB returns! Honda Racing UK is raring to go with Round 1 at Oulton Park

Race Preview
Honda Racing UK is raring to go this weekend (25-27 June) as the 2021 Bennetts British Superbike Championship roars into action with Round 1 taking place at Oulton Park. 
Aboard the race winning Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP, Glenn Irwin will be looking for further success this season in the Superbike class, building on the momentum he and the team gathered last year in what was the debut race season for the new Fireblade, which saw him lead the standings for most of 2020. 
Meanwhile the teams’ Superstock contender Tom Neave will be hoping for another year of success, after finishing runner-up in the series last year, claiming the most race wins across the season.  
New recruits to the team and also to racing on UK soil, Ryo Mizuno and Takumi Takahashi are keen to get the 2021 season underway. Takumi will be looking forward to getting back aboard the Fireblade SP, after dislocating his shoulder following a crash during testing, which left him watching from the side lines.  
The Louth-based team enjoyed a positive pre-season test schedule with official tests at Silverstone, Snetterton, Oulton Park and Donington Park, as well as crossing the border to Scotland’s Knockhill circuit. 
This weekend will be the first BSB event since 2019 to welcome fans back through the gates. Track action gets underway on Friday with two free practice sessions, where the top 12 riders on combined times automatically proceed into Saturday’s Qualifying 2 session. The remaining 16 riders will then take part in Saturday’s Qualifying 1 session, with the top six continuing into Q2, where 18 riders will battle for the race one pole position.

Click here for the full weekend schedule.
Live timing will be available here:

#2 Glenn Irwin

I’m looking forward not just to this weekend, but also to the 2021 championship getting started, it’s come around fast and we’ve had an enjoyable pre-season. It’s nice to head to Round 1 after a good testing plan, we’ve had a lot to try and will continue throughout the year, but it’s now important to work with what we have and get the best job from the current package. I’m under no illusions of how tough this weekend will be, the competition is strong, so to fight for a top-six finish won’t be easy as everyone has stepped it up. I’m looking to have a strong start to the season and come away with three solid finishes. During testing we don’t ride with each other a lot as people don’t want to show their rivals what they’re doing, so now it’s wheel-to-wheel it’ll look very different. This weekend the focus is to start our championship in a strong and consistent manner. 

#88 Ryo Mizuno

This is my first British Superbike Championship race, and I'm hoping to finish well and absorb some experience that will help me in the future. During pre-season testing we were able to test at five circuits with different layouts, which was a great experience for us as we prepare for the season opener at Oulton Park this weekend. Now I have ridden some of the UK circuits my thoughts about the championship are still as positive as ever and I look forward to every race. Coming into my first UK race, the layout at Oulton Park is unlike any other in Japan, so I’m still amazed every lap. BSB is a great championship with a loyal fan base and I am looking forward to seeing some of the fans for the first time this weekend. 

#13 Takumi Takahashi

My first experience of Oulton Park wasn’t too positive during the test as I crashed out early, so first thing this weekend is to learn the circuit again! During the test programme I rode at Silverstone and Snetterton and got to know the circuit layouts and also how the Fireblade feels at UK circuits, as they are very different to Japan, but for Oulton Park and Donington Park I had to sit and watch, which for a rider is very hard. My thoughts now towards BSB having ridden some tracks hasn’t changed that much and I will work with the team to get the best results I can. I am looking forward to my first race and to also meet some of the BSB fans this weekend. 

#68 Tom Neave

Pre-season has been a bit mixed for me with missing a few tests due to my knee and having to have that operation so close to things kicking off. Normally you get everything sorted just after the season finishes so you can have the winter to recover, so that wasn’t too ideal this year. But I’d like to think I’ve now moved on from that and taken the next steps ready for the start of the season. After last year we re-evaluated where both me and the Fireblade can be stronger, making a few tweaks to the machine to be more competitive. I’d like to thank the team for all their hard work over the off-season and making the changes I felt were needed moving into this year, now it’s down to me at the racetracks and I hope I can repay them for all their hard work.