RACE REPORT Sunday 17th September 2023
A disappointing Oulton Park round for Honda Racing ended without a race finish in the two Bennetts British Superbike races of the day.
In the opening race of the day, Tom Neave set off from his fifteenth-place grid slot and had made one of his best starts of the year, only to be pushed out onto the grass on the opening lap as those around him jostled for position. Sadly his race would end just one lap later as he crashed out of the race at Hislops. During the crash, he took a knock to the head and together with the team the decision to withdraw from Race 3 was made.
Franco Bourne too experienced a challenging day as an injury to his knee picked up in morning warm-up hampered his feeling on the bike and made it challenging to ride comfortably. In the first race of the day he lost the front on lap three at Lodge. Then in his second race, he pulled in early in the race after experiencing further problems with his knee. This concluded a frustrating and challenging weekend of racing for the team.
However, once again in Superstock trim, the Honda Fireblade launched to the top step of the podium in the hands of the Pirelli National Superstock Championship points leader Dan Linfoot (Optimum Bikes Racing). This, his second win of the weekend, was secured with a brilliant last-lap dash to the line to win by just 0.027 seconds. He now sits some thirty-five points clear in the series, ahead of fellow Fireblade rider Richard Kerr.
The Honda Racing team now turns its attention to the next round of Bennetts British Superbike racing; which takes place at Donington Park from 29th September to 1st October.
#54 Franco Bourne
In morning warm-up I picked up an injury to my knee which has made it really difficult to ride the bike comfortably. In race one, I made a good start and tried to tuck in behind Mossey as I knew he had good pace. Then I just made a mistake and tucked the front at Lodge. In the final race of the day I went off at the start and knew pretty much straight away that I couldn’t ride the bike how I wanted to with the limited movement and pain in my knee. So I decided to park it for today and avoid risking it.
Race 2 – DNF Race 3 – DNF
#68 Tom Neave
In the first race today I made one of the best starts that I have made all season and got all the way up to tenth from fifteenth on the grid. Then I got pushed out over the rumble strips and onto the grass early in lap one. I lost all the positions I’d gained and dropped down to twentieth. Heading into Hislops I then couldn’t get the bike stopped and I went to avoid hitting another rider, as I did the back wheel lifted off and down I went. We took the decision to sit out the second race of the day on medical grounds as I took a bit of a knock to the head.