2020 British Superbike Championship – Round One
Saturday wrap from Donington
Images Dave Yeomans
Andrew Irwin claimed a sensational win in the opening race of the 2020 Bennetts British Superbike Championship season today (Saturday) at Donington Park, making a last lap move on brother Glenn to claim Honda Racing their first victory for the Honda Racing CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP on its debut.
At the start of the race Kyle Ryde had hit the front of the pack on the Buildbase Suzuki from his front row grid position ahead of Héctor Barberá and the Irwin pairing led by Andrew, with Danny Buchan ahead of the two VisionTrack Ducatis.
Andrew Irwin was characteristically attacking straight from the start and he moved into second at Roberts on the second lap with a move on the brakes to pass Barberá on the Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW.
Danny Buchan was holding fifth but he crashed out unhurt at Roberts putting him out of contention on the Massingberd-Mundy Kawasaki. Bradley Ray retired his SYNETIQ BMW on lap five with Barberá also forced out of the race with a technical problem.
By lap six Andrew Irwin had grasped the lead going into Roberts with a move on Ryde, with his brother Glenn also moving his Honda Racing Fireblade ahead a lap later as the Buildbase Suzuki rider came under attack.
Josh Brookes was reeling in the brothers as their sibling rivalry continued; the Australian edging his VisionTrack Ducati ahead into Redgate on lap eight before Ryde cut back to reclaim the position. Brookes was then fighting back, but the Buildbase Suzuki rider was then forced to retire with a technical issue.
At the front there was a three-way scrap forming between Honda Racing’s Andrew and Glenn Irwin plus Brookes. On lap 13 Glenn Irwin grabbed the lead with a move at Redgate on his brother with Brookes instantly making a move to push Andrew Irwin back into third.
Brookes was then vying for the lead on the VisionTrack Ducati, but he wasn’t able to make his move until lap 16 on the brakes into Redgate to push Glenn Irwin back into second place. However the brothers then both made a brave move at Schwantz Curve which fired the Hondas into the leading two positions on lap 18.
Glenn Irwin was then holding the lead from brother Andrew with Brookes slightly adrift, and it came down to the last lap when Andrew went for a move on his sibling which he made stick. He then defended hard giving his brother no room to repay the manoeuvre and the pair crossed the line 0.119s apart with Brookes sealing third place.
Christian Iddon held onto fourth place from Tommy Bridewell who worked his way up the order on the Oxford Products Racing Ducati. In sixth place Luke Mossey was able to get the better of Tarran Mackenzie on the leading McAMS Yamaha, ahead of team-mate Jason O’Halloran. Pole sitter O’Halloran dropped down the order when he was forced to take evasive action to avoid Buchan’s crash and then had to work his way back up through the field.
Ryan Vickers claimed ninth place for the RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki team ahead of Lee Jackson who completed the top ten ahead of tomorrow’s two races.
Andrew Irwin – P1
“I knew I could pass Glenn in a normal place – he actually always says to me that I never pass people in normal places anyway! And today I couldn’t do that so I had to pass him somewhere a little different, somewhere where you have to trust the front a lot. To be fair the team did a really good job from qualifying until the race today and we made a big step in the braking areas because before that I would have been even worse in the two main areas, but now I feel quite strong there. It was a really nice race. I just had to tell myself ‘keep breathing’! I got to the lead and I didn’t want to be in the lead to be honest but I was there. I thought just relax the pace a little bit and then when Glenn came by, I thought he is going to try to go. Then I think Josh passed me straight away as well, and maybe I lost my rhythm for a lap. I then got back in to the way of things and once we did that I just settled and found out where I was faster. Glenn did a bit of an Andrew pass on Josh and that let me get by Josh as well, and from there I just sat behind him and just tried to protect second. With two laps to go I knew I needed to find out where I could pass him, because I didn’t really think I could. I lined it up on the penultimate lap and then on the last lap I went for it and my mouth and tongue were backwards! Not that I had to do it, but I felt that I could do it safely and I did. I was pretty much past him before we even braked and it was good. It is the first race of the season and there are still another 17 to go, so we have to maintain consistency, stay level head and keep doing a good job for Honda Racing, but to take this first win for the new Fireblade is fantastic.”
Glenn Irwin – P2
“It feels really good, it’s been a long time since I stood on the podium and I didn’t expect it to come so soon. What a day for the team, me finishing second and to have my teammate and brother in P1 is a fantastic debut for the all-new Fireblade. We’ve enjoyed testing and also been reserved to where we are, after the official test we were quietly confident and keeping our feet on the ground, and that hard work and attitude has paid off and got us where we are today. Thanks to everyone at Honda Racing for this.”
Honda Team Manager Havier Beltran
“What a start to the season, I really want to take this opportunity to thank everybody back at Honda UK; all of our sponsors, partners and suppliers for their continued loyal support and getting us to where we are today. 2020 has been a difficult year for all of us, but what a great start to both the British Championship and Superstock Championship to be first and second here at Donington Park for Race 1, and for Tom Neave to take his debut win on the stock Fireblade – it’s a fantastic achievement for all the riders and also the team. We have 17 more races ahead of us, so we need to keep our feet on the ground, focus on our objectives and not get too ahead of ourselves at this stage. I’m looking forward to seeing what tomorrow brings.”
Josh Brookes – P3
“Qualifying in sixth made it hard and I was waiting for a pattern to emerge in the race before I was able to move forward. I got up to third just behind the Irwins and felt confident but with around six laps to go, I found it really difficult to keep that pace up. I was hoping that the others would slow a little, but they didn’t and by then I was back in third. I couldn’t push any harder, so I decided to settle for what I had rather than risking a crash. I’m not going to blame the bike or the tyre or anything, perhaps it was down to me but either way it’s good to get a podium and we can concentrate on tomorrow.”
Christian Iddon – P4
“After we struggled a bit during testing here at Donington and not quite being where Christian Iddonwe needed to be in free practice, to be challenging in the leading bunch today was pleasing but to just miss out on a podium after all that hard work was very frustrating. But we now have a good base setting which has proved it’s possible to run at the front so I’m hoping to translate that into at least one podium tomorrow. Scoring solid points is vital in this shortened championship so it’s a good start but I’m hoping for better in tomorrow’s races.”
Bennetts British Superbike Championship
Donington Park, Race 1 result
|19||Brian McCORMACK||BMW||+1 Lap|
|DNF||Graeme IRWIN||Kawasaki||10 Laps|
|DNF||Gino REA||Kawasaki||12 Laps|
|DNF||Kyle RYDE||Suzuki||13 Laps|
|DNF||Héctor BARBERÁ||BMW||16 Laps|
|DNF||Joe FRANCIS||BMW||16 Laps|
|DNF||Bradley RAY||BMW||18 Laps|
|DNF||Danny BUCHAN||Kawasaki||20 Laps|
|1||Andrew IRWIN (Honda)||25|
|2||Glenn IRWIN (Honda)||20|
|3||Josh BROOKES (Ducati)||16|
|4||Christian IDDON (Ducati)||13|
|5||Tommy BRIDEWELL (Ducati)||11|
|6||Luke MOSSEY (BMW)||10|
|7||Tarran MACKENZIE (Yamaha)||9|
|8||Jason O’HALLORAN (Yamaha)||8|
|9||Ryan VICKERS (Kawasaki)||7|
|10||Lee JACKSON (Kawasaki)||6|
|11||Alex OLSEN (BMW)||5|
|12||Peter HICKMAN (BMW)||4|
|13||Jack KENNEDY (Yamaha)||3|
|14||Dan LINFOOT (Yamaha)||2|
|15||Taylor MACKENZIE (BMW)||1|
British Superstock 1000
Honda Racing’s Tom Neave took the opening Pirelli Superstock 1000 victory at Donington Park, cruising to victory by over two seconds. It was Danny Kent who grabbed the holeshot, but Neave had soon found his way through the pack to take the lead where he was able to steadily pull away from the pursuers.
Behind him, it was Astro JJR-racing’s rookie rider Damon Rees, who took a podium in his maiden Pirelli Superstock 1000 race, who in turn was some 1.5s ahead of Kent. Tim Neave was fourth, ahead of Chrissy Rouse and Joe Collier.
Reigning champion Richard Cooper was seventh, with Luke Hedger, Davey Todd and Jordan Weaving completing the top ten.
Tumut’s Brayden Elliott was 13th on his No Bull Racing Suzuki while South Australia’s Billy McConnell was 19th.
|26||David BROOK||BMW||+1 Lap|
|27||Rick DICKINSON||BMW||+1 Lap|
|28||Nico CIPRIANO||Kawasaki||+1 Lap|
|29||Ben BROADWAY||Aprilia||+1 Lap|
|30||Stephen SMITH||BMW||+1 Lap|
|DNF||Barry TEASDALE||Kawasaki||2 Laps|
|DNF||Daniel COOPER||BMW||10 Laps|
|DNF||Matt TRUELOVE||BMW||14 Laps|
|DNF||Lewis ROLLO||Aprilia||14 Laps|
|DNF||Luke JONES||Aprilia||14 Laps|
|DNF||Shane RICHARDSON||BMW||15 Laps|
|DNF||Joe SHELDON-SHAW||Suzuki||16 Laps|
|DNF||Robert HODSON||Kawasaki||16 Laps|
|DNF||David ALLINGHAM||Aprilia||17 Laps|
|1||Tom NEAVE (Honda)||25|
|2||Damon REES (BMW)||20|
|3||Danny KENT (Kawasaki)||16|
|4||Tim NEAVE (Suzuki)||13|
|5||Chrissy ROUSE (BMW)||11|
|6||Joe COLLIER (Suzuki)||10|
|7||Richard COOPER (BMW)||9|
|8||Luke HEDGER (Kawasaki)||8|
|9||Davey TODD (Honda)||7|
|10||Jordan WEAVING (Suzuki)||6|
|11||Fraser ROGERS (Kawasaki)||5|
|12||Leon JEACOCK (Suzuki)||4|
|13||Brayden ELLIOTT (Suzuki)||3|
|14||Luke HOPKINS (Kawasaki)||2|
|15||Shaun WINFIELD (Yamaha)||1|
Tyser Yamaha’s Rory Skinner dominated the opening Quattro Group British Supersport Championship race, cruising to victory by 7.605s. Gearlink Kawasaki’s James Westmoreland took the holeshot, but having been quick all weekend, Skinner wasted no time in slicing his way past into the lead by the time the crossed the line for the first time.
Steadily pulling away, the eighteen year old was able to control the race from the front but it was an action-packed race behind them. Westmoreland, Ben Currie and Brad Jones all took their turn chasing Skinner, trading places throughout the opening half of the race.
Alastair Seeley was the early GP2 race leader, but his race came to an abrupt end on lap five when he tumbled from contention. Disaster would then strike Currie, who was forced to retire from the podium battle on lap 13.
Continuing to extend his lead at the front, Skinner eventually crossed the line some 7.6s ahead of the rest of the field. Westmoreland eventually secured second place ahead of Bradley Perie who completed the podium. Brad Jones finished fourth, ahead of the GP2 machines of Charlie Nesbitt and Mason Law.
Tom Toparis made a successful debut in BSB as the fifth Supersport machine home and seventh outright.
British Supersport and GP2 Cup
Sprint Race, Donington Park
|12||GP2||Tom OLIVER||Chassis Factory||+24.534|
|13||GP2||Cameron HORSMAN||Chassis Factory||+24.628|
|19||GP2||Tomás DE VRIES||Chassis Factory||+55.191|
|23||Ricky TARREN||Yamaha||+1 Lap|
|24||Grant McINTOSH||Yamaha||+1 Lap|
|DNF||GP2||Jack SCOTT||Harris||1 Lap|
|DNF||Alan NAYLOR||Yamaha||6 Laps|
|DNF||Ben CURRIE||Kawasaki||8 Laps|
|DNF||Scott SWANN||Yamaha||11 Laps|
|DNF||Harry TRUELOVE||Yamaha||15 Laps|
|DNF||GP2||Alastair SEELEY||ABM Triumph||16 Laps|
|DNF||Kurt WIGLEY||Yamaha||16 Laps|
|DNF||Keenan ARMSTRONG||Kawasaki||19 Laps|
|DNF||Jamie PERRIN||MV Agusta||/|
British Supersport Championship Standings
|1||Rory SKINNER (Yamaha)||25|
|2||James WESTMORELAND (Kawasaki)||20|
|3||Bradley PERIE (Yamaha)||16|
|4||Brad JONES (Yamaha)||13|
|5||Tom TOPARIS (Yamaha)||11|
|6||Korie McGREEVY (Yamaha)||10|
|7||Ross PATTERSON (Yamaha)||9|
|8||Richard KERR (Triumph)||8|
|9||Lee JOHNSTON (Yamaha)||7|
|10||Rob HARTOG (MV Agusta)||6|
|11||Phil WAKEFIELD (Yamaha)||5|
|12||Ben WOTTON (Triumph)||4|
|13||Ricky TARREN (Yamaha)||3|
|14||Grant McINTOSH (Yamaha)||2|
Ducati TriOptions Cup
South Australia’s Levi Day started his 2020 Ducati TriOptions Cup campaign off with a second place finish to Josh Day in the season opener while Elliott Pinson rounded out the podium.
Young Seth Crump has quickly shown that he has what it takes to run with Great Britain’s best youngsters as the Aussie qualified second on the grid amongst a 34-rider BSB Junior Supersport field.