Irwin in control after opening Bennetts British Superbike action at Donington Park
Glenn Irwin kicked off the penultimate round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Donington Park by setting the pace in the opening SUPERPICKS Free Practice session, topping the times for Honda Racing UK to push Bradley Ray back into second by 0.160s at the chequered flag.
The afternoon session was hampered by wet conditions, meaning that the top twelve riders from this morning’s free practice progress into tomorrow afternoon’s Q2 stage of SUPERPICKS Qualifying.
Peter Hickman had surged into third place on his final lap for the FHO Racing BMW team this morning, easing Kyle Ryde back into fourth. The Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha rider had a spell at the top earlier in the session, but led the charge of the home contenders as Leon Haslam completed the top five.
Danny Buchan had been another rider to feature at the top of the times earlier in the session and he finished in sixth place for SYNETIQ BMW ahead of tomorrow’s Qualifying and eBay Sprint Race.
The Honda Racing UK teammates Takumi Takahashi and Ryo Mizuno had a strong session with the pair split for seventh and ninth places by Andrew Irwin on the second SYNETIQ BMW.
Josh Brookes was next for the MCE Ducati team, pushing Title Fighter Tommy Bridewell outside of the top ten by 0.124s, whilst Storm Stacey completed the 12 riders through to Q2 tomorrow for Team LKQ Euro Car Parts Kawasaki.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Donington Park GP, SUPERPICKS combined Free Practice result:
- Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing UK) 1m30.611s
- Bradley Ray (Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha) +0.160s
- Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW) +0.557s
- Kyle Ryde (Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha) +0.774s
- Leon Haslam (VisionTrack Kawasaki) +1.076s
- Danny Buchan (SYNETIQ BMW) +1.116s
- Takumi Takahashi (Honda Racing UK) +1.276s
- Andrew Irwin (SYNETIQ BMW) +1.405s
- Ryo Mizuno (Honda Racing UK) +1.531s
- Josh Brookes (MCE Ducati) +1.765s
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +1.889s
- Storm Stacey (Team LKQ Euro Car Parts Kawasaki) +2.205s
Honda Racing UK
Fastest in SUPERPICKS Free Practice
“Obviously the conditions today have been a bit funny; I sat in the box for most of the session this morning and went out with about 17 minutes to go.
“I felt good and the momentum that we have had is continuing and that momentum of late has built even more. I feel that we have been getting stronger over the last couple of rounds and today it has continued.
“The bike felt good even though the conditions haven’t been great, even the lap time despite the conditions were reasonable. It is important to top Bradley and that is my goal for this weekend, to keep the Yamaha behind me.
“That is the first blow as such so now we need to keep it up for tomorrow.”
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