BSB Donington Park – Race Results (1)

Honda enjoyed a dream British Superbike Championship debut with its new CBR1000RR-R Fireblade as Andrew Irwin pipped brother Glenn with a daring last lap move to claim a historic 1-2 result at Donington Park.

Delayed to August by the coronavirus, the 2020 BSB Championship picked up as though it had never been away with fast and frantic racing right up to the chequered flag.

Though the Irwin brothers have shown strong form during testing, their spectacular 1-2 performance proves the new Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade – in BSB trim at least – can potentially be a title contender in what will be a condensed six-round, 18-race season.

From the start, pole sitter Jason O’Halloran went backwards to cede the lead to an impressive Kyle Ryde, the BSB debutant on the unfancied Suzuki not only nosing ahead but confidently holding station out front for four laps. Unfortunately, his challenge ended on lap six when technical issues forced him to retire out of third.

His demotion came courtesy of Andrew Irwin first, before Glenn followed through a corner later, the Honda riders running line astern in 1-2.

That was until lap 13 when Glenn moved for the lead into Turn 1, unsettling Andrew enough to allow Josh Brookes into second place too.

The Australian had stalked his way into contention from an indifferent starting position and looked menacing as he chased down Glenn, nosing ahead on lap 16 with an eye on sprinting clear with five laps remaining.

As it transpires, the opposite would be true, Brookes unable to break the Hondas as Glenn powered back past at Starkey’s on lap 18, pushing the Ducati man enough wide to allow Andrew back through too.

With Brookes fading, Andrew shadowed Glenn into the final lap before lining up his pass just corners from the finish line and snatching a lead he’d take to the end.

His second career BSB win – to go with his maiden triumph at Thruxton last year – the result marks a perfect debut for the new Honda, a machine that otherwise hasn’t set the world alight in WorldSBK trim. Despite missing out on the final lap, second still marks a welcome return to the podium for Glenn after a dismal 2019 campaign.

Brookes held on for third position, just fending off new VisionTrack PBM team-mate Christian Iddon, who maintained a watching brief in fourth, a big improvement on his starting position of 11th.

Elsewhere, Hector Barbera ran with the leaders initially on the Rich Energy OMG BMW before hitting technical issues, while Danny Buchan’s fall at the final corner chicane served to puncture a gap between the lead group and chasers to put them out of podium contention.

As such, though Tommy Bridewell gamely tried to close a four second gap to the front, he had to settle for fifth position, ahead of Luke Mossey on the remaining Rich Energy OMG BMW.

Tarran Mackenzie made gains from a low starting position to claim seventh, ahead of team-mate O’Halloran, who having lost ground at the start was particularly delayed again by Buchan falling in front of him.

Ryan Vickers and Lee Jackson completed the top ten, ahead of Global Robots Smiths BMW duo Alex Olsen and Peter Hickman, with Jack Kennedy, Dan Linfoot and Taylor Mackenzie rounding out the points.

 

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