Honda Racing ready to get the season underway at Donington Park

Race Preview
This weekend (7/8/9 August), four months after the initial planned start, the Bennetts British Superbike Championship will eventually get underway with the opening round taking place at Donington Park. 

The Honda Racing quartet of Andrew Irwin, Glenn Irwin (British Superbike) Tom Neave and Davey Todd (National Superstock) are looking forward to riding the brand-new CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP in anger at Donington’s shorter National Circuit. The 2020 season is condensed into six rounds, with 18 races, which means every race is vital. 

The team enjoyed a comprehensive testing programme with the new Fireblade SP, starting in March before the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the world. It then meant it was July before the team were back out on track with private testing at Cadwell Park and Snetterton. Last weeks’ official test at Donington Park provided a good base for the teams’ British Superbike and Superstock 1000 riders before the triple-header this weekend. 

The first Bennetts British Superbike Championship free practice of 2020 will take place on Friday 7 August at 15.25, with Race 1 on Saturday at 16.30, Race 2 and 3 will take place on Sunday at 13.45 and 16.30. Live timing from Donington Park will be available here.  

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#18 Andrew Irwin

I’m really looking forward to the weekend, I believe we can do a decent job and hopefully start the year off with three consistent finishes. It will be nice to line up on the start line again, it feels like a lifetime ago since the final round last year, so it will be good to just get out racing again and get that butterfly feeling. I enjoy riding the new Fireblade and testing has been great, but I really enjoy race weekends and everything that comes with it, so can’t wait to rock up to Donington this week and get the season started. It’s a shame that the fans won’t be able to come to watch, but I’m sure we’ll all put on a good show for everyone watching back at home!

#2 Glenn Irwin

I’m looking forward to lining back up on the grid, it’s been a long time since Assen last season and to be on the grid on the all-new Fireblade is something I’m really looking forward to. My focus for the weekend is to get the most out of what we have underneath us, I’m excited and also curious to see where that will put us in the order. We had a strong test last week, but we don’t know what our rivals were working on, so let’s see where we are come Sunday evening and hopefully we’re leaving Donington Park with a few decent results. 

#68 Tom Neave

After the test at Donington Park last week I’m feeling confident, we ended in a good position and were competitive with the lap times without doing anything too daft or pushing too hard, so I think with a little fine-tuning we can definitely fight towards the top. I’ve put a lot into my training this year in order to be as prepared as I can be, I feel I’ve not left any stones unturned this time and feel ready to get stuck in, it’s been a long time to wait and think we can be in a good position from first practice. 

#74 Davey Todd

I absolutely can’t wait for Round 1 coming up this weekend, it’s great going testing, but the reason why we all do it is to ultimately go racing. We did have a really good testing programme, of course with the new Fireblade there’s always going to be a lot to get thorough and still will be a lot to do on the development side, but we’re all in the same boat and learning the ropes. For me it’s been a while since I was battling on short circuits, but I can’t wait to get out there and see how we get on.

Team Manager Havier Beltran

Well, it’s August and we’re finally getting started with the championship. It’s been a strange time recently and I’ve never known a racing year like it, but I’m happy we’re able to start racing this weekend and it’s a credit to Stuart Higgs and his team at MSV who have worked so hard to make this happen. Due to how the series is with 18 races it will be vital that all our boys keep their heads; we can’t afford for anyone to make a mistake this season, so it will be about finishing all races, scoring points and doing the very best we can. Of course, we have the new Fireblade SP, so all eyes will be on us, but as it’s a new machine we still have a lot of work to do across the season.