Work to do on race day for Honda Racing

With track temperatures soaring in the Spanish sun, the Bennetts British Superbike championship roared into action on the opening day of the first round with free practice and qualifying sessions occupying the schedule. 

In the Superbike class the new Fireblade is still in its development phase as the team and riders continue to learn as much as they can about the material that will be raced tomorrow and throughout the year.

Tommy Bridewell secured direct entry into the Superpole session with a frighteningly fast lap set in the first practice session of the day to sit fourth on combined times and right in the fight. Unfortunately, he lost the second practice session to a technical fault. The team then carried out a complete engine change in under twenty-five minutes to get Tommy ready for the Superpole session with minutes to spare. Sadly, not long after beginning his flying lap he would suffer another technical failure resulting in no time set. He lines up in thirteenth on the grid in tomorrow's opening race. 

His Superbike teammates also encountered frustrating Saturdays as they both struggled to replicate their promising pace during Qualifying to secure themselves competitive grid positions. Andrew Irwin lines up for race one in eighteenth and Dean Harrison in twentieth.

In what is quickly becoming an extremely competitive series, Jack Kennedy rocketed his CBR600RR to fourth on the grid in the day's Supersport Qualifying session. He missed out on his first front-row start of the year by just 0.045 seconds. Confident in his consistency and race pace he targets podium finishes as a minimum. 

#1 Tommy Bridewell

Look it’s unfortunate to have a technical like that, but I know we have some strong race pace. We’ve done our homework and found where the passing places are and we’ve come from down on the grid before. I still back myself in the fight so we go again tomorrow. There are two races and two opportunities to go out there and get a result. We win and lose together as a team and as a team we will come out fighting. 

#18 Andrew Irwin

It has been a frustrating start to the first weekend of the year I cannot deny. We are experiencing some challenges with getting some confidence with this new bike. The lap time was there in testing but we just haven't managed to get close to it again. But look, I focus on the positives and we have a warm-up session in the morning to put ourselves in the window and then two long races tomorrow to learn as much as we can. 

#5 Dean Harrison

Qualifying was frustrating as we couldn’t match the pace that we had achieved in Free Practice earlier in the day. We tried a different setting to improve the rear grip and it just didn’t quite work as we expected so there’s definitely some pace there that we didn’t show. My quickest lap in practice was seven-tenths quicker than qualifying so had we stayed where we were things would have been different: we will try something in the warm-up and then build from there.

#4 Jack Kennedy

I am happy that we found the last few tenths that were there on my ideal lap time, I just had to put all of the sectors together, so it was nice to do that and achieve the lap time. Unfortunately, it just wasn't enough to keep us there on the front row, we got pipped in the last few moments, but it isn't the end of the world. Our race pace is really good, we have more than just one lap in us. The race though is a real unknown, we don’t know where we stack up against all these different bikes and engines, but I know I can put together a good race. I think we are in the mix and the main goal is to bring home a podium or even a win. It is early days with this project and I know that we have more to come as the year progresses we just have to be patient and let things come. 

Bennetts British Superbike Championship 2024

Circuito de Navarra, Qualifying