Oulton Park awaits for round two

Race Preview
Fresh from completing two days of valuable testing at the Cheshire circuit, Honda Racing UK turns its attention to a bank holiday weekend packed with Bennetts British Superbike racing.

The vital two-day test provided the team with much-needed track time to continue developing the 2024 Fireblade Superbike, as well as granting road racers John McGuinness MBE and Nathan Harrison a run out on their Superstock machines before their road racing campaigns commence next week at the North West 200. 

The key priorities of the test were to put mileage onto each rider’s CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP and to continue learning the characteristics of this new model. 

Buoyed by his strong performance across the test, Tommy Bridewell now looks to the weekend of racing action at the 2.6-mile fast and technical circuit. A multiple-race winner at the venue already, he will be hoping to string together three successful races and take Honda back to the podium for the first time this year. He concluded the two days of testing in fourth position on combined times, posting a quickest lap of 1.34.338. 

With one eye on his road racing season ahead, Dean Harrison wasted no time in getting down to business and dialling in for the race weekend ahead. The fast undulating nature of Oulton Park provided him with a much more familiar track environment than the European bends of Navarra. He split his time between his Superbike and Superstock machines and gained precious insight into how both handle the bumps, rises and falls more akin to the road circuits on which he excels. He rounded out the test with a quickest Superbike lap of 1:35.937 to sit twenty-first on combined times and an impressive 1.36.398 on his Stock Fireblade.  

Andrew Irwin arrived at Oulton Park eager to leave the troubles of Navarra firmly in the past and build into the season that lies ahead. This race circuit hosted his best result of the previous season just twelve months previously as he was narrowly pipped to the final podium position at the line. His quickest lap time of the test - 1.35.664 - placed him eighteenth on combined times. 

Also in attendance at the test, albeit on track for only a single day,  was Jack Kennedy aboard his CBR600RR. He spent the day dialling in his setup ready for the weekend's two races. Fresh from the podium in Spain at round one he targets more at a circuit which should play into the strengths of his Supersport machine. With three sessions completed, Jack’s quickest lap of 1:38.397 saw him round out the day in third position. 

The weekend of racing action kicks off this bank holiday weekend with practice sessions on Saturday, with qualifying and racing action across Sunday and Monday. For a full schedule of the event please click here

#1 Tommy Bridewell

It was a very positive test and we have worked as a team in a really positive way. In Navarra we wanted to learn as much as we could with the new bike so we were making quite big changes, whereas here we have got a really good base setting and we are just tweaking things here and there. We’ve just slowly and methodically changed things and it has all come together really well. My race pace is looking really strong, especially on longer distances with used tyres which bodes well for the weekend. I feel like I am riding fast now but with a little less effort which is really positive. So yeah, in general feeling really good and I’m looking forward to the weekend, there’s a couple of bits to look at in FP1 but we are pretty much right there already.
P4 - Combined times

#18 Andrew Irwin

The focus of this test for me has been to identify a solid base setting from which we can build into the weekend ahead. It was good to make a step over the two days but I definitely feel that there is more to come. We will sit down as a team and go through the data to identify where we can make some improvements and then try to hit the ground running in FP1 on Saturday. I want to turn it around and get back to riding at my best and I have every confidence we can do that. 
P18 - Combined times

#5 Dean Harrison

It has been great to get some laps on the Stocker and the Superbike over the last two days. I feel reasonably happy with the test to be fair, Oulton is definitely a circuit that I feel much more at home with compared to Navarra. I do think that there is more to come from both bikes really and after a quick run out on the Stock bike I’m excited to get back on the Superbike this weekend and have a real go. I think it’s going to be a tight fight for points this weekend so I will get my head down in FP1 and just go from there. We’ve got a few things to try on Saturday and I’m looking forward to it. 
P21 - Combined times

#1 John McGuinness MBE

It feels surreal to say that this will be my thirty-fourth season of racing! It feels great to be back at a race track with the Honda team and heading into a race weekend once more after a good test. Our focus in the test was on learning as much as we could about the new bike before we really get going on the roads next week at the North West. Looking to this weekend first though, Oulton is such a unique circuit and a real test for the rider, so I’m looking forward to getting stuck in and having a go. 
P16 - Combined times

#25 Nathan Harrison

It feels great to be back with the team and getting some more track time ahead of the start of the road racing season. This test was all about getting some mileage under my belt and gaining bike time, I’m not going out chasing a lap time or risking anything, my focus is 100% on getting through the next few weeks fit, healthy and injury-free, and for that reason we’ve decided not to race this weekend. I’m looking forward to going to the North West, I’m putting zero pressure on myself to go and get a result. I want to get five strong finishing positions under my belt and lay the foundations for a strong year of racing on the roads. 
P20 - Combined times